Parklife – Blur (1994); Track-by-Track review

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Cricket is on the TV and I am wearing a London Soccer Cannons t-shirt – let’s take a trip back to west London ca 1993…

Lad culture was still a few years away, Wimbledon was in the top flight and Wills was just starting at Eton…

A good night out was a curry fry up, a purple tin and a night out at Walthamstow dogs (carn Orient!)…

And the soundtrack to these raucous times, bank holidays and nights on the rantan was four likely lads from Goldsmiths…

Parklife

Parklife among some London ruins.

(song titles in caps)

Like an East End Elvis, Albarn illuminates the impossibly catchy and risqué (for its time) GIRLS AND BOYS. Coxon’s guitar is incendiary.

Mundane British public service is satirised by the bulldozing TRACY JACKS. Shades of classic Clash in this Britpunk shoutalong.

Soulful END OF THE CENTURY compares our inchoate Y2K fears with getting closer to 40. Ultimate Blur cigarette lighter in the sky moment.

CONFIDENCE IS A PREFERENCE FOR THE HABITUAL LISTENER OF WHAT IS KNOWN AS PEAK BRITPOP (parklife)

Best Snickers reference in music in the public holiday celebration BANK HOLIDAY. Short, sharp, fast, loud: so exactly like a long weekend.

Damon does is best mournful Morrissey while Coxon channels Marr in BADHEAD (get it?); for when love lost is like a filthy hangover.

You’re waiting on a platform for a Northern Line train to Cockfosters when all of sudden the tracks melt away and THE DEBT COLLECTOR.

Side A ends with the Alex James track FAR OUT. Only just breaches the 90 second mark but worth it for the mesmeric fade out…

..into TO THE END, a polyglot ode to only just making it, in the style of a dramatic Hapsburg era continental intrigue. Hear every strain.

LONDON LOVES is like a Radiohead track, but playful and optimistic and with driving sound effects at the bridge. So nothing like Radiohead.

Long before Daft Punk tapped up an AI to sing, there was TROUBLE IN THE MESSAGE CENTRE. Answering machines were at the forefront back 94.

Take a day trip to the sea and bring your bells and whistles and vocal experimentation and amusing rhymes to make a 4-lad CLOVER OVER DOVER.

MAGIC AMERICA drips with irony as Albarn skewers their contemporaries writing music to target the US market. Very ironic considering Song 2.

Ode to a spotty 17yo that doesn’t dress correctly and plays too much computer games, JUBILEE is an uptempo ‘I just got my licence’ number.

THIS IS A LOW is the perfect funereal dirge to endure while watching Alex Doolan bat. Give me Alex James any day.

77 seconds of Nintendopop mixed into arcade airs with a drum clanging finale to close LOT 105 and Blur’s Britpop masterpiece Parklife.

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