When Blur released their fantastic first album, Leisure, I was 17, and I was addicted to MTV’s alternative-music video show 120 Minutes (they brought it back! Who knew?) (incidentally: HOLY CRAP). I would record the show every week and devour it throughout the week until the next episode came out. Blur’s first hits, “She’s So High” and “There’s No Other Way,” hooked me instantly, and I’ve been a fan of the band ever since.
They’ve had their ups and downs. I’ve always kept an ear on lead singer Damon Albarn’s many side projects. But it’s been a long time since Blur has released any new music, and even longer since they produced anything that was worth repeated listening.
I’m happy to report their first album in 12 years, The Magic Whip, is exactly that. It’s good. It’s classic Blur. While there isn’t a “Tender” (what is up with this “official video” version of the song — blech), “Girls & Boys,” or “Song 2,” this album is solid from start to finish. Give it a few listens before moving on — I assure you it will hook you, too.