our score: 4.0 out of 5.0
At the height
of Britpop in 1995, the papers were full of the daily rows that
took place between Blur and Oasis. It was the Stones versus the
Beatles all over again, you either liked one band or the other.
Both were brilliant, but both went off the boil at the end of
the 90s and the turn of the century. Oasis made a couple of dud
albums and Blur just didnt make any. But now, in 2003, both
bands have emerged from their wilderness years, popping up again
equally as brilliant and yet in vastly different places so that,
musically at least, it is impossible to compare them.
is Blurs seventh studio album and is more proof (should
it be needed) that the bands horizons are infinite, that
they are not hemmed in by any peer pressure or record label requirements.
And guitarist Graham Coxons departure does not seem to have
hampered things at all. The opening track even makes a point of
including no guitar as Damon Albarn sings I Aint got
nothing to be scared of. Blurs
eponymous album in 1997 abandoned their previous poppy
feel and adopted heavy metal, while two years later 13
started sowing the experimental seeds. Think Tank is the
often gorgeous yield that those seeds produced, at times blazing
with guitars and soon after back to delicate instrumental sessions
complete with Albarns African influences.
kicks off with the rather ambivalent "Ambulance", sounding
a million times better when you try it with headphones. The lead-off
single, "Out Of Time", is equally as lethargic, managing
to grow on you after a while. But just wait till you hear forthcoming
single "Crazy Beat", helped by Norman Cook, which is
an explosive gem of samples, guitars, shouting and confidant vocals.
"Crazy Beat" is the early high point of Think Tank,
so make sure you readjust yourself for the more serene qualities
of "Caravan" and "Good Song", the type of
tracks that provide necessary padding for the louder ones. "Brothers
and Sisters" gives an alternative insight to drug culture,
Damon Albarn listing a string of medicines and illicit substances
and what theyre used for. And there is more rock-on-the-edge
to be found in "Weve Got A File On You", which
combines the intensity of "Song 2" with the group shouting
of "Lot 105", from Parklife.
describes Think Tank as our most direct set of songs
since Parklife and could not wait to try out his
sonic experiments, using more towards the end of the CD. To compare
Think Tank with Parklife would be unfair, the latter
being far more radio and chart friendly and the former far mature.
But, once more, this is Blur as you have never heard them before.
The new feel of Think Tank will immerse fans and sink any
rumours about Blur being a thing of the past.
liked Think Tank...
2. Out of Time
3. Crazy Beat
4. Good Song
5. On the Way to the Club
6. Brothers and Sisters
8. We've Got A File On You
9. Moroccan Peoples Revolutionary Bowls Club
10. Sweet Song
12. Gene by Gene
13. Battery In Your Leg