Blur – Midlife: A Beginner’s

Impeccably tracklisted Blur for the connoisseur

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Rivalries notwithstanding, even Noel Gallagher had to concede that he would buy a Blur singles anthology. It’s possible that this compilation of the band’s slightly artier moments (a mix of album tracks and singles, almost completely lacking in the baggage of the Britpop era), might not be quite so favourably received.

A nonetheless flawless take on Blur’s 20-year career, Midlife charts the rich, often sad music being made behind the jaunty character sketches. Pitching up at a place somewhere between The Smiths (“Sing”) and The Specials (“He Thought Of Cars”), what’s in here finds the band inventive, unfailingly tuneful, and, rather belying the title, mellowing magnificently with age.

JOHN ROBINSON

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