15 Songs, 56 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Great Escape presents a merry-go-round of British pop pleasures. Chamber music and psychedelia intersect to create the tipsy glow of “Ernold Same,” while the band’s sharp-tongued brashness stokes “Entertain Me,” a cocktail of punk and disco. With a voice that shifts from gentle murmur to desperate cry, Damon Albarn plays the role of Cockney ringmaster to the hilt, introducing listeners to the venomous caricatures of “Mr. Robinson’s Quango” and “Dan Abnormal” only to return us to the moody but magnificent pub sing-alongs of “Country House” and “Charmless Man.”

Apple Digital Master

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Great Escape presents a merry-go-round of British pop pleasures. Chamber music and psychedelia intersect to create the tipsy glow of “Ernold Same,” while the band’s sharp-tongued brashness stokes “Entertain Me,” a cocktail of punk and disco. With a voice that shifts from gentle murmur to desperate cry, Damon Albarn plays the role of Cockney ringmaster to the hilt, introducing listeners to the venomous caricatures of “Mr. Robinson’s Quango” and “Dan Abnormal” only to return us to the moody but magnificent pub sing-alongs of “Country House” and “Charmless Man.”

Mastered for iTunes
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

Jesus Cocker ,

Underrated

The Great Escape is perhaps the most controversial Blur album. Fans tend to be split between deeming it a disastrous wannabe Parklife that isn't even worthy of the likes of Oasis or praising it as a brilliant masterpiece. I happen to view it as the latter.
While one could make the argument that sonically there wasn't much growth from Parklife but I argue that there didn't need to be. While I feel that bands should constantly reinvent themselves, I don't believe that that means radically changing the sound of a band with every record. And Blur did reinvent themselves with The Great Escape.
With this album, Blur decided that they were done being a wanna be working class band, not that I am accusing Parklife of being that sort of album, if a second Parklife had been made it would have been. Instead Blur wrote a true successor to Parklife about their upper middle class roots. This was a brilliantly creative move and I feel a very successful one. While I can't deem The Great Escape better than Parklife, I feel I can say that it is the funnier record. Blur adopted a much darker sense of humour for this album and write about utterly absurd and stereotypical wealthy personalities.
Unfortunately the most creative move will rarely be the most successful and so was the case with this album. People didn't want to hear about the upper middle class, no matter how witty or ironic the lyrics. So people abandoned Blur for the legitimately working class (and far less talented) Oasis.

Super8kc ,

The Great Escape

I've always had a liking for Blur...they've got some fun tunes. But it is people like "Jesus Cocker" (the reviewer below) that has made me keep my distance.

It's funny how so many Blur are still in pain over losing the "Britpop rivalry" (if you can even really call it that...) to Oasis in the 90's. "Far less talented?" Wow, bitter much? If you really want to know why this album, which is actually quite good, gets undervalued...look no further than (What's The Story) Morning Glory?, which was released the same year. There is a reason it was named the greatest British album of the last two decades...it reached a height neither Blur nor any other Britpop band could match. That album alone decisively crowned Oasis kings of Britpop. You can talk about "class" and "creativity" all you want (What does "Wonderwall" or "Don't Look Back In Anger", for example, have to do with class? Nothing...), but calling Oasis "far less talented" is clearly ridiculous considering their monumental achievements. Extreme Blur fans can make excuses and take shots all that they want...but it just further causes the fanbase to bear a resemblance to a conquered army.

With that out of the way, let me say that Blur is a very good band. They have a playful charm to them that one cannot help but get behind. It's a shame some Blur fans spend more time focusing on how their albums stack up versus Oasis than being content to realize that their music is quality in its own right. The two bands have very different styles, embrace them for that!

More By Blur

You May Also Like