25 April 2013

25th April - Blur's Parklife

Artist – Album: Blur - Parklife
Released:  25th April 1994
Sounds Like: Top of the Britpops

It’s a shame that Parklife, one of the most quintessentially English albums of all time, wasn’t released just two days earlier, on St Georges Day; the saint’s day for that Palestinian reptile botherer and all-round cocky geezer that for some reason is the patron saint of England. As it is, it shares it celebrates its release date on DNA Day, which isn’t nearly as relevant.

From the dogs at the track album cover, to song titles such as ‘London Loves’, ‘Clover Over Dover’ and ‘Jubilee’, the album oozes British identity. ‘Girls & Boys’ and ‘Parklife’ (adorned with verse narration from Quadrophenia’s very own Phil Daniels) became lager-lout anthems for the burgeoning Britpop scene, and the underlying wit, obsession with the British musical history and the very modern attitude of these and other tracks helped cement Blur’s reputation as icons of the wider Cool Britannia movement. Damon Albarn stood as his generation’s Ray Davies, creating wonderful, popular music with literate, humorous and relevant lyrics. Hear ‘Parklife’, think ‘You Really Got Me’. The whole album stands as an incredible homage to UK culture and a must have for anglophiles anywhere.

As fun as the livelier moments are, the real standouts here are the slow ones. ‘End of a Century’, Badhead’, ‘To the End’ and ‘This Is a Low’, contain lush, baroque arrangements and deal with failing relationships, the loss of youth and the mystery of the future. They're weary and cynical, but beautiful and real. Like ‘Waterloo Sunset’ from the Kinks’ oeuvre, after the initial attraction of the anthems, these are the songs that you will take with you and remember forever.

Albumaday... rating: 8/10

1.       Girls & Boys – 4:50
2.       Tracy Jacks – 4:20
3.       End of a Century – 2:46
4.       Parklife – 3:05
5.       Bank Holiday – 1:42
6.       Badhead – 3:25
7.       The Debt Collector – 2:10
8.       Far Out – 1:41
9.       To the End – 4:05
10.   London Loves – 4:15
11.   Trouble in the Message Centre – 4:09
12.   Clover Over Dover – 3:22
13.   Magic America – 3:38
14.   Jubilee – 2:47
15.   This Is a Low – 5:07
16.   Lot 105 – 1:17

No comments:

Post a Comment