#tbt Blur / Blur (1997)
Let’s go back to a time when bands like Sublime were the opus of frat rock, and American Indie-Rock had reached it’s stride and golden era. A few years before this Pavement poked it’s head into the mainstream with “Cut Your Hair”, and then later, through some kind of miracle, or more likely a deal with Satan, the Butthole Surfers managed to break into the Billboard charts with “Pepper”. Cue Blur, who at this point, had grown tired of the Brit Pop merry-go-round, and fully immersed themselves in good old American Indie-Rock. The result: Blur / Blur, the self titled album that catapulted them into the American mainstream with their big hit “Song 2”. Granted, if all you ever knew about this band or album was that catchy little single, which like anything else, can grow tiresome after the one thousandth play, you might be skeptical. However, this album is so much more than that. Written during a particularly tough time, as the band’s guitarist, Graham Coxon, was drinking heavily. This period of time was also a precursor to singer Damon Albarn and Elastica‘s Justine Frischmann’s breakup. Not to mention Oasis grabbing the spotlight as the self-proclaimed greatest British rock’n’roll band in the world with “What’s the Story Morning Glory”. This prompted Blur to go balls out and really start to get heavy and somewhat dark. The influence from American Indie-Rock, particularly Pavement, can be heard throughout the record, and makes for a perfect combo, with the sugary sweetness of Brit Pop and the flat/sometimes angular and much more aggressive tones of American Indie-Rock. Personally, this is my favorite Blur record, and if you are not familiar, I highly recommend you check out the whole thing, but you can get started below with the single “Death of a Party”.