(2009) Midlife: A Beginner's Guide To Blur

Blur

... read moreReleased in conjunction with their 2009 reunion, the double-disc career retrospective Midlife emphasizes Blur's early psychedelic grind -- halfway between Syd Barrett and shoegazing -- along with their post-Brit-pop indie makeover, giving somewhat short shrift to the band's pop prime, cutting out...

01:47′:24″ 25 Songs

Disk 1

1
Beetlebum
Blur
5:06
2
Girls And Boys (7" Mix)
Blur
4:18
3
For Tomorrow (Visit To Primrose Hill Extended)
Blur
6:00
4
Coffee And Tv (Radio Edit)
Blur
5:17
5
Out Of Time
Blur
3:51
6
Blue Jeans
Blur
3:53
7
Song 2
Blur
2:03
8
Bugman
Blur
4:48
9
He Thought Of Cars
Blur
4:10
10
Death Of A Party
Blur
4:32
11
The Universal
Blur
4:00
12
Sing
Blur
6:02
13
This Is A Low
Blur
5:08

Disk 2

1
Tender
Blur
7:42
2
She's So High (Single Version)
Blur
3:49
3
Chemical World
Blur
4:02
4
Good Song
Blur
3:07
5
Parklife
Blur
3:05
6
Advert
Blur
3:43
7
Popscene
Blur
3:14
8
Stereotypes
Blur
3:11
9
Trimm Trabb
Blur
5:37
10
Bad Head
Blur
3:25
11
Strange News From Another Star
Blur
4:02
12
Battery In Your Leg
Blur
3:19
Released 14 June 2009, 2009 Parlophone Records Ltd, a Warner Music Group Company

Review

Released in conjunction with their 2009 reunion, the double-disc career retrospective Midlife emphasizes Blur's early psychedelic grind -- halfway between Syd Barrett and shoegazing -- along with their post-Brit-pop indie makeover, giving somewhat short shrift to the band's pop prime, cutting out four of the band's big hits ("There's No Other Way," "Country House," "End of the Century," and "Charmless Man") in favor of album tracks that play into the thesis that Blur were as somber and serious a guitar band as Radiohead. Of course, Blur did rival Radiohead, recording some of the greatest guitar rock of the '90s, but that was only one facet of the band: they were also a bright, artful pop band, cleverly twisting '60s traditions and post-punk styles into the present. Elements of this Blur are evident in "Girls & Boys" and "Parklife," hits so big they couldn't be ignored, and while Midlife could have used a heavier dose of this side of Blur, there's not a bad track here, and the set also brings their glorious, epoch-creating single "Popscene" back into circulation, so Midlife has some considerable value even if it avoids too many highlights to truly be "A Beginner's Guide to Blur" as its subtitle claims. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine