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4.5 out of 5 stars41
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CDChange
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2007
this album changed my life! when britpop kicked off, being in a cheshire school, oasis were the big of course, i chose blur's parklife as the album i would champion! i wasnt really into music then, it was kinda the big thing at time, everyone was doing it! but when i wanted to hear more, i bought modern life is rubbish, and it all changed. no longer the easy chart music, but catchy songs that wouldnt get played on the radio. this introduced me to looking for other music that didnt get played often and helped me discover so much more music!

if you are thinking of getting a blur album, or a brip-pop era album, start here! im listening to it now, and i can still see images of sitting on a bus through france, while listening to this on my old casette walkman!

an album that changed my life.

A true brit pop record that doesnt sound cheesey or dated.

long live modern life!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 7 May 2001
It's not often that you can describe a 90's chart album as being stunningly beautiful. But in this case, I must make an exception. It is remarkable to see just how much the band had matured since recording 1991's Leisure (A fun album only slightly ruined by a lack of variety and some dull, uninspiring lyrics). Albarn finally shows his full potential as a fantastic song writer and the rest of the group show their talent in this unforgettable and inspiring album.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 19 December 1999
I always avoided listening to this album, even when I actually owned it due to a stubborn refusal to go along with the majority in agreeing that yes, it is the greatest blur album. However, I must grudgingly admit that it is fantastic, full of classic tracks to sing along, be in love, or cry to. Modern Life confirms the fact that blur are the quintissential english band of the nineties, and the album supplies some of the definitive songs of the decade - For Tomorrow, Miss America and Chemical World being just three. My own personal recommendation is Blue Jeans, especially if you love London as much as I do. Enjoy!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2006
I laugh at all the "top 100 British albums" polls that never even mention Blurs second triumphant comeback album Modern Life Is Rubbish. Its always Parklife or Blur that make it, pretty fine albums but not as complete as Modern Life Is Rubbish. At the time of recording this album Blur were basically hanging on to a record contract by the skin of their teeth, after descending into an alcohol fuelled self-destructive abyss after falling off the baggy bandwagon with a thump. Thankfully they pulled themselves together and went back to their influences, Ray Davies, Paul Weller, Syd Barrett, Morrisey and various other classic English songwriters and started creating this masterpiece.

The thing I like about this album is the feeling it gives you. As soon as you hear the opening chiming chords of For Tomorrow you can't help but feel misty eyed and in love with Englishness Blur paint into their songs. This is the album where Damon is at the top of his game lyric wise and Graham creates some of his most wonderful chord progressions and melodies. Blur may have produced poppier catchier hits after this album but nothing as pretty as this.

My favourite songs on here are 'Blue Jeans', a beautiful song about a pair of jeans bought on Portobello Road, 'Resigned' a slow song with a melancholy feel and 'Coping' a punky tune about... coping with modern life. An excellent album with few bad points (Colin Zeal!), and a couple of other songs that i recommend from this era of Blur are (if you can get hold of them) 'Popscene' and 'Young And Lovely'
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 16 February 2000
From 'For Tomorrow' onwards this is a masterpiece. This is Damon Inventing Brit-pop a year before everyone else realised that such a thing existed. It has touching beauty (eg. 'For Tomorrow' and 'Blue Jeans'), fantastic pop tunes (eg. 'Starshaped' and 'Chemical World') and electrical energy (eg. 'Advert' and 'Coping') that no band since has been able to better (except maybe blur themselves). The best album by the best band since The Smiths
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 24 December 2000
this album oozes tasty riffs and bass lines. and drums. and singing for that matter. this is simply a great album, and from what i can see on this track listing, it is the american version which means only one thing....POPSCENE! this song was probably the best song to come out of the early nineties...hurahh
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 22 January 2004
Blur's Best Of features a great overview of their career. However, any blur fan that knows their salt would have realised that 'Modern Life Is Rubbish' is almost totally ignored. Which is a shame since in essence blur's second outing is their strongest and most complete album. To my mind it is one of the best second albums alongside Mansun's 'Six, and 'Leave Home' by the Ramones. What really makes the album is that it can be viewed as having no singles, and much like '13'; every song is so good that each could have been a single! It's all quality. The singles are very strong though! 'For Tomorrow' and 'Chemical World' are excellent examples of Damon's emerging vocal and musical talent coupling beautifully with Graham's restrained (and never flashy) guitar work.

'Parklife' contains most of the band's transition to pop figures. There's not a 'Girls and Boys' style song on the album. Instead it generally treads a line between catchy pop and distortion rock. Of the cuts my favourites are 'Blue Jeans', 'Villa Rosie', 'Advert', 'For Tomorrow', 'Chemical World' and 'Starshaped'. Also, 'Commercial Break' while slight and silly has some brilliant playing on it, particularly Graham's. In a sentence, Modern Life Is Rubbish showcases blur flexing their muscles, stepping away from the mainstream of Leisure and embracing their roots and influences. Superb. (That wasn't a sentence was it!)
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2001
Often seen as a 'transition album' between the juvenalia of Leisure and the fully fledged masterpiece that is Parklife, Modern Life is Rubbish deserves to be heard on its own as an excellent record, but is also fascinating when viewed in the context of Blur's musical development. Modern Life is Rubbish is truly the album where Blur and Damon Albarn found their poetic and musical voice. That is to say, the sort of tired, sad, resigned lo-fi ballads to which they would return on all their subsequent albums (Best Days, He Thought of Cars, Strange News from Another Star), but which they explored most deeply and compellingly on this record. The key songs, therefore, are the likes of For Tomorrow, Chemical World and Blue Jeans. All three manage to be heartbreakingly beautiful and tragic, while not being either fragile or sentimental. The prevailing mood is of resigned melancholy, summed up on Miss America (ironically one of the weakest tracks on the album) by the lines: "I don't mind. I don't mind at all / I love only you".
The slow songs dovetail nicely with familiar Blur thrash on Advert, Villa Rosie and Turn it up. Honourable mentions also go to Sunday Sunday and the instrumental Intermission. In fact the only thing which keeps Modern Life is Rubbish from a five star review is the horrible Colin Zeal.
Given its bleak title and content, Modern Life is Rubbish perhaps bears comparison to those modern doom mongers Radiohead, but ulike the perennially gloomy Bends, this album is an oddly uplifting listening experience, thanks to the wry humour and sweet sadness which ultimatly is the hallmark of Modern Life is Rubbish.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 September 2013
Blur's second album 'Modern Life Is Rubbish' is my hands down favourite, bringing Britpop to the focus at the time, and spawning three singles: 'For Tomorrow' (not only my favourite Blur song, but in a short list of my all time favourites by any artist), 'Chemical World' and 'Sunday Sunday', none of which hit the heights of their later hits, but made a lot of people take notice of them.

I think that the cover conveys the message that this is a great album (If I was to judge a book by it's cover then that's what I would think anyway) - and indeed it is. The title is appropriate as a lot of the songs give off the message that life in the modern world is well, 'rubbish', and at the same time manages to perfectly capture the sense of living in the city, creating an almost romantic and somewhat nostalgic picture of London at the same time.

For the most part, the tracks on the album are slow-paced and relaxing ('Blue Jeans' is particularly sublime) whilst the others, including the outstanding 'For Tomorrow' and fan favourite 'Sunday Sunday' are quirky and upbeat, the perfect tunes to sing-a-long and lift your mood. The funny thing is, the whole record sounds just as fresh and modern today, which is quite an achievement for an album released in 1993.

Please do yourself a favour, this is an outstanding album, but you should seriously consider buying the 2012 two disc Modern Life Is Rubbish edition to hear these songs in such crystal clear remastered quality, and also to own the bonus disc which has 19 tracks, including all the B sides to the singles 'Popscene', 'For Tomorrow' and 'Chemical World', including a sweet cover of Rod Stewart's 'Maggie May' and 'Young and Lovely', a gem and still occasionally played live today. The packaging is also neat, housed in a lift-off lid box with four artwork postcards and a booklet with never-seen-before photos and liner notes based on an interview with all the members of the band. It really is a superb, worthy re-issue of one of my all time favourite albums.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2009
After a decidedly average debut album, some not very successful subsequent singles and rather too much alcohol, Blur were told by their record label Food to get their act together or they would be dropped. On submitting the much-improved Modern Life Is Rubbish, they were still told to go back to the studio and add a couple of singles. One of these songs, the album's wonderful opener For Tomorrow, subsequently possibly saved their career. It's odd to consider that without it there may have been no Parklife, Song 2 or Gorillaz...

For Tomorrow is arguably the first Britpop song. Like many of the best songs on the MLIR LP, it is influenced by The Kinks though has enough modern keyboard sounds to not be merely derivative. Further highlights from the album include Blue Jeans with its lovely double-tracked melody, the XTC-like Colin Zeal and vaudeville Sunday Sunday.

Many of the other tracks on Modern Life Is Rubbish are also punk influenced and it's fair to say that the album loses its way a bit over its second half and isn't quite the fully realised article that the band managed with their next LP Parklife. Despite this, Modern Life is an excellent LP showing a band going very much in the right direction. Charmingly put together with instrumental intermissions and chords to the songs in the inlay booklet, it saved Blur's career and provided a strong hint of some of the riches to come.
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