Blur

Midlife: A Beginner’s Guide to Blur

Virgin

Sep 17, 2009 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


In 2000, Blur released The Best of Blur, an 18-song set that represented the band's '90s peak, with all the hits included. Midlife, released in conjunction with the band's U.K. reunion concerts, totals 25 tracks and avoids some of the hits that were represented on The Best of Blur ("There's No Other Way," "Country House," "Charmless Man," "End of a Century"). But forgiving these omissions, Midlife is a stellar compilation. Excitingly, 1993's "Popscene" is included, despite its being left off the 2000 comp. Twelve songs are taken from Modern Life Is Rubbish, Parklife, and The Great Escape, a trio of '90s albums that might be the best three consecutive albums of any band of the era. The rest of the band's catalog is equally well represented, but the later, more eccentric side of Blur is balanced with the Britpop side, by virtue of the non-chronological presentation of the songs. (Typically, random ordering of a best-of is a pet peeve of this reviewer, but in this case, it works.) Whether or not Blur ever record together again, Midlife is a satisfying overview for a band that was a cornerstone of a music scene and whose music is still as vibrant and exciting today as it ever was. (www.blur.co.uk

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