Blur
Think Tank


3.5
great

Review

by The Ashtray Girl USER (17 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 7 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


Blur – Think Tank

After the departure of their guitarist, Graham Coxon, former Britpop heroes Blur decided to go in a completely different direction. They flew off to Morocco and absorbed the culture and musical vibe over there before recording an album that was like nothing anyone had ever heard from them before.

You would be forgiven for expecting a dance-influenced record, as Fatboy Slim features as a producer. However, he only produces two of the tracks, both of which feature guitars prominently. Whilst this is certainly not Blur of old, they have always been looking to change their sound and go in new directions, so any real fans will probably want to at least have a listen to this.

Blur are:

Damon Albarn – vocals, guitar
Alex James – bass
Dave Rowntree – drums




Review:

The Moroccan influence is very strong in this album. Having spent some time there myself, I can definitely see that a lot of the rhythms and melodic structures are Arabic-based. However, it has been fused with a westernised sound that makes every song on this album interesting.

A lot of tracks, such as Brothers and Sisters have a very hypnotic feel, and I find myself listening to these songs not so much in the usual way, but more for the mood they inspire. The songs blend well into each other, and a lot of them, especially towards the end of the record, can become hard to distinguish from each other. However, in such an experimental album this is not as big as a flaw as it would be in more traditional albums.

But there is also a lot of variety. Crazy Beat and We’ve Got A File On You are much faster, heavier tracks. Crazy Beat in particular is a great fast-paced track, very energetic and more reminiscent of the old Blur.

Blur also show their softer side very well on here. Sweet Song, Good Song and Out Of Time are gorgeous ballads that show off Albarn’s voice to its best. All of the instrument playing is interesting on here, as every member of the band has been clearly influenced by his Arabian visit. The production is quite noticeable, as there is a very echoic sound to many of the songs, almost as if they had been recorded in some sort of cavern.

This album is most certainly different-sounding, and it is also interesting as a collection of songs. It marks a very new direction for Blur, and one can only speculate about where it will lead.

I don’t think this is Blur’s best album by a long way, however, for an experimental album they have come out unscathed and with some very good songs under their collective belts. Worth a listen for Blur fans, and for anyone that is maybe looking for something just that little alternative to listen to, but it’s not a must buy.

Track Highlights

Out Of Time
Crazy Beat
Brothers and Sisters
Sweet Song

Overall Rating – 3.5/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
The Ashtray Girl
September 14th 2004


108 Comments


*bump* surely I can get at least one opinion of this album out of you?

Med57
Moderator
September 14th 2004


1002 Comments


I don't actually own the album, but I've heard some songs off it, and liked them. I only own Parklife by Blur, which I really like, but I might get this at some stage. I was going to say something about this yesterday, but was writing my Feeder review. *hints* :p

Knoxvillelives
November 29th 2004


342 Comments


Blur without Graham Coxon???!!! You must be joking!
Blur IS Graham Coxon. He is a really underrated guitarrist.

The Ashtray Girl
November 29th 2004


108 Comments


Really? Excellent stuff.

Saw him play on Saturday night - what a Britpop god.

The Ashtray Girl
November 29th 2004


108 Comments


Oh I dunno, it was only for one song and it definitely spiced up the evening.

Happymeal
November 29th 2004


330 Comments


I haven't heard a lot from this album(and from Blur), but I used to like Sweet Song very much.

I think I saw a Graham Coxon solo album back in the Ph last year. Is that any good?



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