Friday, May 11, 2018

Modern Life Is Rubbish is (mostly) rubbish

Regular readers will no doubt be familiar with my feelings about Britpop, so it should come as little surprise that I thoroughly endorse this Quietus piece on Modern Life Is Rubbish, which has just turned 25. Luke Turner notes "I had expected this feature to be a revisiting of a fondly remembered album that I had always considered to be Blur's best" but confesses to finding himself "more than a little irritated".

The problem - now glaringly obvious with the benefit of hindsight - is the way that the record, Blur's second, "[set] the template for Britpop", in all its blandness, Little Englander jingoism and unimaginative retromania. Needless to say, I'm in complete agreement with Turner's conclusion that it's the "curious sound of four bright-eyed pretty boys with some fair musical chops about to become charmless men, writing the soundtrack of an increasingly charmless land", and very much enjoyed his comments on Blur's cynical opportunism, his reference to Damon Albarn's "auditioning-for-Dad's-Army lyricism" and his dismissal of Alex James as "cheesemonger to Clarkson".

Turner's sentiments have also found favour with the likes of Arab Strap's Aidan Moffat ("I never trusted Blur, there was always something cynical and arch about them I couldn't stand, all winking pose and no soul") and Stuart Braithwaite, whose band Mogwai famously flogged T-shirts bearing the legend "Blur: Are Shite". Nice to know I'm in good company on that score.

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