- Blur: Damon Albarn (vocals, keyboards); Graham Coxon (guitar); Alex James (bass); Dave Rowntree (drums).
- Recorded in London, England and Iceland.
- It's okay, America, you can come out now! We don't sound like Duran Duran anymore! Me and the rest of the lads had us a meeting and decided it was time to give the eighties thing a bit of a rest. Don't worry, we didn't throw away all our fab analog synth gear, we just updated things a little. We moved out of that expensive umpteen-track studio and into our mate's mum's garage to get just the right feel for this one. We were so busy reinventing our sound that we didn't even have time to come up with a proper name for the album. What's in a name, though, as long as we've still got the pop hooks coming out our ears? We've been listening to some of that lo-fi Yank stuff and hanging out with some of the blokes from Stereolab in between reading all those fan mags that make up imaginary battles between us and Oasis, who care more about being the Beatles than we ever did. So the stage is set for our big American takeover. Now all we've got to do is get that bugger at the record company to stop calling our singer "dude."
Rolling Stone (4/3/97, pp.64-65) - 4 Stars (out of 5) - "...The scrupulous sonic contouring and porcelain finishes of Blur's last two albums have vanished. Blur's melodies, moreover, have abandoned much of their old Kinks-y fuss....What still makes them great is their deep grasp of style and genre..."
Spin - "Blur's highlights are consistently British-bred. 'Strange News From Another Star' is 'Space Oddity' -- suckled, glazed-eyeball pop psychedelia..."
Spin (4/97, pp.157-158) - 7 (out of 10) - "...prefac[ing] the release of BLUR, Albarn...declared an allegiance with Pavement and Beck....But no amount of gratuitous distortion or mumbling could disguise the truth that...Blur have stumbled over the most accomplished record of their career..."
Entertainment Weekly (3/14/97, p.78) - "...Up to now, Blur--Oasis' chief rival in the U.K.--have remained a nonentity in the States; this may be the album that finally brings them into focus." - Rating: B+
Q (1/98, p.111) - Included in Q Magazine's "50 Best Albums of 1997."
Alternative Press (5/97, pp.65-66) - 4 (out of five) - "...A whirl of weird esotericism, precious, precocious and impressively powerful, BLUR lurks in that grey area between work in progress, and progress is work..."
Melody Maker (12/20-27/97, pp.66-67) - Ranked #14 on Melody Maker's list of 1997's "Albums Of The Year."
Melody Maker (2/8/97, p.48) - Recommended - "...BLUR is a statement if ever there was one. It's low-key, dirty, messy, minimal, a f***ing stampede from the pub jukebox into the garage....while slumming is repellent social behaviour, when it comes to making records it's a boon. That may or may not be why this is Blur's best album..."
Village Voice (2/24/98) - Ranked #38 in the Village Voice's 1997 Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll.
Mojo (Publisher) (p.61) - Ranked #50 in Mojo's "100 Modern Classics" -- "[T]heir imperial pop smarts benefit unexpectedly from being crushed and soiled, not just sonically, but emotionally."
NME (Magazine) (12/20-27/97, pp.78-79) - Ranked #13 in NME's 1997 Critics' Poll.
NME (Magazine) (2/8/97, p.55) - 7 (out of 10) - "...a giant step of reinvention....Old Blur was about strings finely plucked, about attention to detail, about rendering beautiful the substance of other people's lives. New Blur is about confusion, about what they feel and...about scuffed edges..."