Blur
Blur 21


4.5
superb

Review

by Alex Beebe USER (126 Reviews)
August 7th, 2012 | 110 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Substantiality and quantity determine the worth of a box set collection, and Blur 21 is so fulfilling that it will without a doubt exceed the standard of catering to the desires of any type of Blur fan, whether they be the die-hard or the casual listener.

Box sets and greatest hits albums are only the same in that they are comprised of an artist's past works. Aside from that core similarity that they share, they are quite different from each other and should be considered as such. While greatest hits albums are compilations of an artists material, box sets are simply collections of the material in it’s original state. The possible issues that a greatest hits album can face such as what songs are featured in the compilation, how those songs are arranged in the compilation, and how many songs are featured on the compilation, do not threaten the value of a box set. What matters above all else is that a Box Set has as much content variety as possible for the listener to select from, and on this front Blur 21 absolutely delivers.

With the ultimate version containing all 7 of the band's studio albums in pristine remastered quality, with a disc of bonus material for each album, followed by 4 discs worth of rarities from every era throughout the bands career, 3 DVDs, and concluding with a 7" vinyl of a live performance of one of the bands earliest songs “Superman” when they went by the name Seymour, Blur 21 is a gargantuan total of 22 discs spanning the entire catalog of one of the britpop genre's most prominent and important bands in the 21 years since their debut album Leisure was released.

This is a pretty hefty load even by box set standards, and one is obviously not expected to listen to a box set of this magnitude in one sitting, so Blur 21 is intended to provide listener’s with every option imaginable for venturing into any point of Blur’s career. Some of Blur’s arguably weaker material that is found on the box set does not affect it as a whole as listener’s can simply choose to not pay that era any mind, literally containing something for any kind of Blur fan with its extensive variety. New listeners will find the box set’s accessibility welcoming, and be taken back in awe by the plethora of material to choose from, while completist’s will rejoice at possessing an organized and complete Blur library with a satisfyingly extraordinary level of content.

What Blur 21 does right as a box set is acting more than just a discography assembly, the bonus discs of material for each album within the set’s contents do more than just accessorize, all of the demos, remixes, and unreleased songs immerse the listener in the world of the specific eras of each album. This makes for a remarkably investing experience that conveys the band's history to the point where it transports listeners into the time of these records, and documents the band throughout their existence with impeccable detail.

Blur 21 is the type of box set that shows the difference between what a box set is, and what a collection of records under a specific name is. Blur 21 is not only a celebration of the 21 years since their debut, it's a celebration of every memory and milestone of their life as a band. An experience not concerned with quality, but one that proudly embraces and showcases every high and low and projects it as a journey of life.



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user ratings (13)
Chart.
4.6
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
breakingthefragile
August 7th 2012


2956 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Finally got this out, meant to post this like a week ago, so I hope the review doesn't disappoint. Big
thank you to Deviant for generously writing out the track listing for me. I'm gonna try to get on a
review a day schedule from now on, like I've wanted too since I became a contributor.

Digging: Cathedrals - Cathedrals EP

Graveyard
August 7th 2012


5730 Comments


that's a lot of material

Digging: Sugary Sweet Machines - Controlled Breathing

breakingthefragile
August 7th 2012


2956 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, now that I've finally seen it, I'm pretty confident that this the longest track listing on the site. Anyone know of a longer one? lol.

barcafan21
August 7th 2012


1914 Comments


damn that's a long track listing. also, excellent review. pos'd

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2012


31161 Comments


I like it when the reviews end up in this kind of format (even if it is simply a result of being compromised by a large tracklist). I'm not a fan of the text spewing out at the bottom

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

Relinquished
August 7th 2012


25040 Comments


whoa

breakingthefragile
August 7th 2012


2956 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Glad to know I did good barac. Also, I agree Dev, it looks much neater than having a few lines be much longer at the end.

Yazz_Flute
August 7th 2012


18783 Comments


What the fuck tracklisting.

Digging: Battles - Mirrored

Gyromania
August 7th 2012


15701 Comments


Also, I agree Dev, it looks much neater than having a few lines be much longer at the end.

if it lines up nicely, sure, but this is so disproportionate.

anyhow, review is great. pos.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
August 7th 2012


7338 Comments


Good review man.

A friend of mine managed to blag a free copy of this through work. So pissed.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2012


4424 Comments


I've never been too big of fan of Blur (or Britpop for that matter), though I do enjoy an occasional song by Blur here and there. I'm more into Damon's other group Gorillaz.

Good review, man, as always. POS'd.

Gyromania
August 7th 2012


15701 Comments


i LOVE gorillaz. which blur songs do you like?

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2012


4424 Comments


@Gyro
Yeah I love Gorillaz. As for Blur, I like "She's So High", "Song 2" (But who doesn't?), "There's No Other Way" to name a few.

Gyromania
August 7th 2012


15701 Comments


demon days is one of my favourite albums of all time. as for song 2, well (prepare yourself) it's one of my least favourite blur songs :P

check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuYUmnny0pU

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
August 7th 2012


6448 Comments


"I've never been too big of fan of Blur (or Britpop for that matter), though I do enjoy an occasional song by Blur here and there. I'm more into Damon's other group Gorillaz."
Pretty much how I feel as well. Parklife is a terrific album though.

Not so sure about the review, sorry man. I know you can't describe every song or disc in full detail (that would be horror), but what's written here is so general that I don't get the feeling you even listened to it. It's well-written, but content-wise I feel it's lacking a bit of substance.


Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2012


31161 Comments


check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuYUmnny0pU


This is not a link to 'Tender'. Please explain

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2012


4424 Comments


I love Demon Days as well and the D-Sides album. Radio stations seem to play "Song 2" everyday so I've grown to love it, everyone i know loves the song. I liked this song, "End Of A Century, I havent heard it before but its has a very mellow Beatles-esque catchiness to it.


Gyromania
August 7th 2012


15701 Comments


you're right, it's a link to an even better song ;D

but here you are: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaHrqKKFnSA

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2012


4424 Comments


Oh, Ive heard this one before. You're right Gyro, it is a good song.

breakingthefragile
August 7th 2012


2956 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I personally love Gorillaz more than I love Blur, but that's just because of genre
preference. I love how experimental and artistic of a project Gorillaz is to begin with
more than I like straight-up britpop, but I do like Parklife more than I like any
Gorillaz album, even if I like Gorillaz as a band more than Blur.



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