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Blur – Modern Life Is Rubbish (1993/2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Blur – Modern Life Is Rubbish (1993/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96kHz | Time – 00:58:52 minutes | 1,32 GB | Genre: Rock
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | ©  Parlophone Records
Recorded: October 1991 – March 1993

Modern Life Is Rubbish is the second studio album by the English alternative rock band Blur, released in May 1993. Although their debut album Leisure (1991) had been commercially successful, Blur faced a severe media backlash soon after its release, and fell out of public favour. After the group returned from an unsuccessful tour of the United States, poorly received live performances and the rising popularity of rival band Suede further diminished Blur’s status in the UK.

Under threat of being dropped by Food Records, for their next album Blur underwent an image makeover championed by frontman Damon Albarn. The band incorporated influences from traditional British guitar pop groups such as the Kinks and the Small Faces, and the resulting sound was melodic and lushly produced, featuring brass, woodwind and backing vocalists. Albarn’s lyrics on Modern Life Is Rubbish use “poignant humour and Ray Davies characterisation to investigate the dreams, traditions and prejudices of suburban England”, according to writer David Cavanagh.

Modern Life Is Rubbish was a moderate chart success in the UK; the album peaked at number 15, while the singles taken from the album charted in the Top 30. Applauded by the music press, the album’s Anglocentric rhetoric rejuvenated the group’s fortunes after their post-Leisure slump. Modern Life Is Rubbish is regarded as one of the defining releases of the Britpop scene, and its chart-topping follow-ups—Parklife and The Great Escape—saw Blur emerge as one of Britain’s leading pop acts.

As a response to the dominance of grunge in the U.K. and their own decreasing profile in their homeland — and also as a response to Suede’s sudden popularity — Blur reinvented themselves with their second album, Modern Life Is Rubbish, abandoning the shoegazing and baggy influences that dominated Leisure for traditional pop. On the surface, Modern Life may appear to be an homage to the Kinks, David Bowie, the Beatles, and Syd Barrett, yet it isn’t a restatement, it’s a revitalization. Blur use British guitar pop from the Beatles to My Bloody Valentine as a foundation, spinning off tales of contemporary despair. If Damon Albarn weren’t such a clever songwriter, both lyrically and melodically, Modern Life could have sunk under its own pretensions, and the latter half does drag slightly. However, the record teems with life, since Blur refuse to treat their classicist songs as museum pieces. Graham Coxon’s guitar tears each song open, either with unpredictable melodic lines or layers of translucent, hypnotic effects, and his work creates great tension with Alex James’ kinetic bass. And that provides Albarn a vibrant background for his social satires and cutting commentary. But the reason Modern Life Is Rubbish is such a dynamic record and ushered in a new era of British pop is that nearly every song is carefully constructed and boasts a killer melody, from the stately “For Tomorrow” and the punky “Advert” to the vaudeville stomp of “Sunday Sunday” and the neo-psychedelic “Chemical World.” Even with its flaws, it’s a record of considerable vision and excitement. [Most American versions of Modern Life Is Rubbish substitute the demo version of “Chemical World” for the studio version on the British edition. They also add the superb single “Pop Scene” before the final song, “Resigned.”] –Stephen Thomas Erlewine

1 For Tomorrow 4:18
2 Advert 3:43
3 Colin Zeal 3:14
4 Pressure On Julian 3:30
5 Star Shaped 3:25
6 Blue Jeans 3:53
7 Chemical World 4:02
Intermission 2:27
8 Sunday Sunday 2:36
9 Oily Water 4:59
10 Miss America 5:34
11 Villa Rosie 3:54
12 Coping 3:23
13 Turn It Up 3:21
14 Resigned 5:13
Commercial Break 0:56

Damon Albarn – vocals, piano, keyboards
Graham Coxon – guitar, backing vocals
Alex James – bass guitar
Dave Rowntree – drums, “The Plough, Bloomsbury” (“Miss America”)
Stephen Street – producer (except “Sunday Sunday” and “Villa Rosie”)
Steve Lovell – producer (“Sunday Sunday” and “Villa Rosie”)
Simon Weinstock – mixer (“Sunday Sunday” and “Villa Rosie”)
John Smith – engineer; co-producer (“Intermission”, “Commercial Break”, “Miss America”, “Resigned”)
Blur – producer (“Oily Water”), co-producer (“Intermission”, “Commercial Break”, “Miss America”, “Resigned”)
Kick Horns – brass (“Sunday Sunday”)
Kate St John – oboe (“Star Shaped”)



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