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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OH MY GOD
The moment that i heard "tender" on the radio i could not wait to hear the album. When I did finally hear it, i was not dissapointed. Following on from the inspirational "Blur", "13" is simply a perfect album. The singles released from it showed the public the many different sides of Damon Alburns song writing abilities. Every song is...
Published on 21 April 2001 by neilb1984

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9 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Albarn Album
Post Parklife, guitarist Graham Coxon was the main reason I continued to listen to Blur. As Blur became more artistic and experimental they lost track of what had previously made them so listenable. I can accept change, but not when it is this inconsistent and dull. Songs I embrace include Tender, Bugman, Coffee & TV, Swamp Song, B.L.U.R.E.M.I., the mildly interesting...
Published on 23 May 2004 by geml


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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Public needs Blur!, 6 Oct 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: 13 (Audio CD)
Blur now show the British public that they are one of the mostimportant bands in the industry. The general feel of the album is very experimental and you can tell that they have been listening to Beck but are most definitely trying to hide it. The album starts off with a great number called 'Tender' which does not set the tone for the album at all in fact it is very miss leading. Another great out standing song is 'Coffee & TV' which becomes their second single over 'Tender' which deserves to be a good single. The rest of the album throws on a cape and goes experimental with positive effect. Most of the album seems to be about relationships, which kind of gets slightly tedious after you've just herd the last six songs with the same subject matter. Over all the album is good and shows good direction at least these boys are willing to try something different not like there so called northern competition.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!, 12 Dec 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: 13 (Audio CD)
After the experimental and moody atmosphere of 'Blur', I was expecting something more upbeat, more vibrant. What I got was a challenging, intriguing album that made me sit back and re-appraise my opinion of Blur. I should know better than to expect the expected from them! From the opening strains of the hauntingly beautiful 'Tender', through to the traditionally circus-like 'Optigan 1', '13' is a feast of ingenuity, a breath of fresh air that may well separate the true fans from the glory-seekers. 'Coffee + TV' is a delicate offering with Graham on lead vocals, perhaps challenging Damon for the vocal crown of Blur. 'Swamp Song' is a searing, Bowie-esque adventure. 'Trailerpark', notorious for its Southpark connections, is wonderfully dark and different. 'Trimm Trabb' is probably one of the album's most recognisably familiar sounds - simple yet effective, with Blur stamped all over it, yet startlingly darker and moodier than the Blur norm. 'No Distance Left To Run' is deeply evocative, a tear-jerkingly, achingly heartfelt song that gently persuades even the most hard-hearted individual to concede that yes, Blur are actually quite good. Whilst I have picked out my favourite tracks to mention specially, 'Bugman', '1992', 'B.L.U.R.E.M.I.', 'Battle', 'Mellow Song' and 'Caramel' are equally fresh. Electrical sounds, weird noises and just plain bizarre departures from routine are what mark this album out as being produced by someone other than Stephen Street (William Orbit, in fact). I expected to fall in love with '13' immediately upon hearing it, but it has actually crept up behind me and knocked me senseless with its originality and diversity, leaving me dazedly wondering how on earth Blur are ever going to better this in future.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blur's Pretensions Reach A Higher Level, 18 Jan 2003
This review is from: 13 (Audio CD)
Before '13', Blur had expressed themselves in various styles, from the indie-pop of 'Modern Life Is Rubbish' and its British sounding successors to the harder edged feel of the eponymously titled 'Blur'. On this latest album, they seem to have gone back to their art-house roots previously displayed on their first cd,'Leisure'. For '13' sounds like an album imbued with the idea that popular music should be taken seriously, that it can say something about modern life through its creation.
What then, is '13' trying to say? In my view, I think it's mainly concerned with a state of mental breakdown, a condition possibly faced by Albarn during his split with Justine Frischmann
and by Coxon in his fight against alcoholism. For example, on the song,'No Distance Left To Run', Albarn refers specifically to a failed relationship - 'It's over, I knew it would end this way', he mourns.'1992'is also concerned with personal infidelity,
'You loved my bed,
You took the other instead.'
On another song,'Trimm Trabb', the line 'I sleep alone' is solemnly repeated and on 'Bug Man' Albarn sounds full of menace and paranoia as he tries 'to stay away from the bugs'. With regard to Graham Coxon, his 'Coffee and T.V.' has a lighter tone to most of the album but the lyrics themselves are pessimistic,
'I've seen so much, I'm going blind
And I'm brain dead virtually.'
More often than not, however, this feeling of psychic collapse is not so much spoken but expressed by the music itself. Indeed, on some of the songs the lyrics are so oblique that they help further the impression of mental incoherence. For instance, the meaning of 'Swamp Song' and 'Mellow Song' is almost indecipherable, a state that might also be due to the drug use which both songs refer to. On 'Battle' as well, Albarn is inaudible and it's left to Coxon's manic guitar distortions to convey the title's meaning. On other songs. Albarn's vocals sound like someone deranged. 'Swamp Song' ends on him yelling desperately for a fix and on 'Trimm Trabb' the intensity of his final scream is compounded by more of Coxon's abrasive guitar work. Another device they make use of is to convey mental breakdown through the song literally breaking down and becoming something else. Both 'Mellow Song' and 'Bug Man' start off as normal verse/chorus songs but then shift suddenly to something more formless and experimental. In a sense, the whole album sounds like a patchwork of differnt styles, some melodic, others more avant garde. It doesn't really cohere, and it's probably not intended to.
And are these artistic aims successful? By and large, I think they are. At times during the album, there's a genuine feeling of isolation and mental paralysis. 'Trimm Trabb' and '1992'are particularly effective here, both served well by Coxon's discordant guitar work that's prominent throughout '13'. Saying that, however, I think some of the songs sound too self conscious. So many ideas are thrown in to create the right effects that I wonder sometimes where the essence of the song has gone. For example, Coxon's 'screaming' guitar at the end of 'Battle' sounds overcooked as do the high pitched backing vocals on 'Caramel'. In a way, I feel that they've almost tried too hard and in the process some songs have lost their freshness. A couple of the least ornate tracks sound the most effective.'No Distance Left To Run' is simply constructed but conveys Albarn's pain poignantly.'Tender' is a beautiful song, the choir section movingly transporting us to the joy of love.
To conclude, I would recommend this cd, especially to those who think that popular music can becom art.'13' might not have the spontaneity of, say,'Parklife' but in trying to think conceptually Blur have pushed their music into new, exciting areas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blurs Finest Effort, 29 April 2011
This review is from: 13 (Audio CD)
I love the rest of them but this is my favorite Blur album and one of my all time favorites. It's more downbeat, emotional and personal than their usual fare until then. Everyone will know Tender and Coffee and TV - these were 2 of Blurs finest releases in my opinion - but the real quality of this album is with the tracks that grow on you. Tracks like Battle, Mellow Song and Trimm Trabb are 3 of the best songs I have ever heard and the ones I keep coming back to! With these tracks it's very easy to spot the influence of one William Orbit - this is a match made in heaven - the quirkyness and playfulness of Blurs previous albums is complemented perfectly by Orbit's subtle magic. This album is experimental in many ways, musically, it's a complete U turn for Blur. The only shame is that it turned out to be a bit of a swansong until Think Tank (which came some 5 years later), I would have loved to see how they would have followed this up. This is genius.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars blur - 13, 4 Sep 2010
By 
Neil Wanless "Wannas" (Castle Eden, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 13 (MP3 Download)
13 showed a slight shift from the rabble rousing of Parklife and parts of The Great Escape to more thoughtful, introspective moments. Even the lead single, Tender, a 6 odd minute gospel feeling track, followed this direction, with Graham Coxon admitting he was terrified of singing the lead live on Top of the Pops ""I didn't want to sing, 'Oh my Gravy...'!"). That said, it contains "Coffee and TV" , possibly one of the best 10 pop songs ever written, with the immortal line "Do you feel like a chainstore, practically floored". Buy it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding..., 6 Dec 2009
By 
Krupskaya (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 13 (Audio CD)
This was a new direction for Blur and one that was sorely needed. I couldn't bear them in their smug mockney phase circa 'Parklife' so it was with trepidation that I approached this album. I needn't have worried. They have taken a new, darker more experimental direction and are all the better for it. These songs are obviously written from the heart instead of using a hackneyed britpop broad brush. It's a shame that Damon broke up with Justine Frischman but the experience made him grow up, grow out of 'Benny Hill' and write songs that actually touch your emotions while still retaining catchy hooks and melodies. Not a duff track on it. Recommended.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars almost perfect and completely original, 11 July 2002
By 
Ryan Kobb (Media, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 13 (Audio CD)
13 is another blur album that hardly puts a note wrong, and it concerns me that people said blur went all radiohead on this album as 13 was released a year before kid A and even longer before amnesiac which are its closest cousins. blur are quite simply the most innovative band ever perhaps. tender, coffee + tv, battle, mellow song, trailerpark, caramel, trimm trabb and NDLTR are all amazing, but a couple tracks noticeably swamp song is not the best...bugman, BLUREMI, and optigan 1 are all important album tracks, i just wish all we want was on it rather than swamp song
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 - Blur's best cd so far, 17 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: 13 (Audio CD)
13 is Blur's most misunderstood album. It's also their best. Having ended their partnership with Stephen Street, who produced Blur's first five albums, Damon Albarn and co turned to William Orbit, famous for resurrecting Madonna's career, to create a new, expanded and more experimental sound. And from the opening bars of 'Tender' to the haunting instrumental of closing track 'Optigan I', this album is simply outstanding. But it's not easy listening, and takes a few spins before it makes sense. There are few pop tunes here, but if you persevere, you will begin to appreciate how brave and innovative this record is. And it's also honest, with Damon singing about his break up with long-term girlfriend Justine Frishmann from Elastica. On 'No Distance Left to Run, you can almost hear his heart breaking.
Excellent, five out of five.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No one but blur..., 25 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: 13 (Audio CD)
AT first, I thought tender was awful. What happened to "beetlebum", I asked? then, I borrowed the LP from my girlfriend and played it for bedtime. I didn't sleep that night. WOW! This sound, amazingly introducing the fifth album's sound with electronic music and several appliances, is notheing I ever hy aleard before. As I said, no one but Blur can make such noise sound so clear, so heartbreaking, so deep... It's the best album I heard for a few years, and definately my favourite... Till the next one comes. Buy it. NOW.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars depressing, but fab!, 24 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: 13 (Audio CD)
This album is certainly a change from the joyful humour of parklife and the great escape! I takes a while to get into it, but it is great! tender is a great start, and when u r getting too depressed it comes along with the bright cofee and TV. caramel is great, and so too is no distance left to run! Definately worth getting, this is a quality album, and shows blur's incredible music capabilities.
Love it!
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13 by Blur (Audio CD - 1999)
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