Blur | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Blur 

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In America heavy themes demand heavy music, and we're not always trustful of even the best purveyors of the slightly different British pop tradition, which is to marry substantive lyrical themes to music that's sometimes overly light. Blur, who hit town this weekend to promote their third album, Parklife, revel in this tradition, and U.S. response to their work (after the killer summer single "Girls and Boys" failed to break the album) has been accordingly less than enthusiastic. This is somewhat unfortunate. Blur follow the example (sometimes too closely, I'll admit) laid down by luminaries like Ray Davies and Paul Weller; on Parklife they take a variety of arch but affectionate themes and stir them up with just about any musical style you could imagine, tossing a bit of faux punk ("Bank Holiday") here, mildly psychedelic 60s guitar rock ("Badhead") there. The record's subjects are similarly disparate, from the spring-break-like sexual antics of British teens ("You'll get nasty blisters") to a sideline swipe at their superficial cousins ("Magic America"). They're worth seeing live, too. Saturday, 7:30 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield; 472-0449 or 559-1212.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Zanna.

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