Third time on the list, third release from the band, and this is the
big comeback. After Modern Life Is Rubbish sort of
bombed, Parklife kicked them back into the charts with maybe fewer
(obvious) downers and more catchy up-tempo tracks.
Having the fortune to be released just as Brit Pop broke, it of course has been seen as leading the way (and it actually was very influential), but here we have the exact recipie for how to annoy me: faux-quirkyness (as I wrote some time ago).
The part about "fewer downers"? Forget it. Which by the way is exactly what I do about songs like To The End kind of immedeately after the album stops. Don't know why, but they just dissappear from my recollection.
But, looking past that, this contains a bunch of strong pop songs, where Girls & Boys probably is the catchiest (somehow reminding me of The Dandy Warhol's Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth). But the title track's the preferred one. Narrated by actor Phil Daniels, it's a respite from Albarn's whine (also: I'm just realizing that he's the only band member I've ever mentioned in the Blur reviews).