Blur’s self-titled 1997 release was a fairly serious departure for a band who had made a career out of writing cute little cheeky numbers about boys and girls. With help from influential American artists like Pavement and Beck they skewered their sound with a heavy dose of indie rock and created what is arguably their first masterpiece.
From the album opener “Beetlebum” with its bouncy lead riff and segueing right into “Song 2” or the “Woo Hoo” song it was obvious on first listen new things were afoot for these pasty boys from England. Although they would find their first American success with “Song 2” it was hardly the best number on the album. Songs like the Pixiesish “M.O.R.” and “This is a high” were designated rushes of euphoria with flourishes of guitar that were distinctly not Britpop. “Strange news from another star” signaled singer Damon Albarns nose for the downbeat ballad which would later be perfected on songs like “Tender” from their album 13 and the embarrassingly gorgeous “Battery in your leg” from this year's incredible album Think Tank.
A band is worthless without change, and Blur proved themselves worthy with this incredible album that marked a distinct change for the band that has continued to this day. A great album. Go buy it and have “Song 2” erased from it. Cheers mate.