By the time you read this you’ll have either seen the reformed Blur or at least have been aware that arguably the greatest British group of the 90s performed the most anticipated live dates of the year – for a generation not raised on your Floyds or Zeppelins.
Midlife cashes in on the frenzy with an astoundinglypicked selection of the best from Blur’s seven studio albums from ’91 to 2003. There’s no There’s No Other Way, nor the Oasis-vs-Blur tabloid warfuelling Country House. There are, however, 25 of some of the greatest pop songs this country has produced. Girls & Boys brings pre-Streets lads-onholiday satire, trumping Mike Skinner’s work through sheer sophistication and, frankly, by being much more astute. Advert, Stereotypes, Badhead – all wildly different, all in their own ways shining a light on the British condition easily the equal to Ray Davies’ work with The Kinks.
The fact is, Blur were always weirder, far braver than the press allowed (just check Trimm Trabb), while accusations that Damon Albarn remained emotionally detatched from his subject matter prove wholly unfair given likes of This Is A Low or Good Song. Just as hordes have been getting all teary-eyed over the 60s/70s canon for decades, another generation face up to ageing, find their heroes anthologised and have a band worth crying over.