Blur: Blur (Virgin)
James Hunter, Rolling Stone, 3 April 1997
ASIDE FROM a minor hit three years ago, with the perfect pop single 'Girls and Boys', England's beloved Blur have never quite killed alternative-era America. The band's 1994 Parklife, with its deft character sketches and musical finesse, may have reminded Britain how intimately pop can reflect that country's social and political swirl. But by the time the 1995 single 'Country House' (off The Great Escape) appeared here, the conflicts between U.K. and American tastes seemed too decisive for Blur. 'Country House', a swinging indictment of upper-middle-class remove, struck many Americans as too perfect. It had been a long time since groups such as Roxy Music or Steely Dan offered similarly cranky-minded tunes that relied on that degree of pop calibration.
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