Blur (Special Edition)
Label: Parlophone UK
Blur's self-titled fifth album is the quartet's breakthrough effort, as the success of "Song 2" remains their only hint of a hit in the U.S. Released in 1997, Blur was an answer to Oasis' claims that they were the next Beatles and also reflected Graham Coxon's increasing infatuation with American lo-fi indie rock ("You're So Great," "Song 2," "Chinese Bombs"). Despite the seemingly dissimilar angles, Blur is a mostly streamlined affair thanks, in part, to Damon Albarn's succinct view of pop music ("M.O.R.," "Beetlebum"). Not all of these songs work, but the highs are very good.