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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 9 September 2016
Blur's 6th studio album sees the band moving even further away from the 'radio-friendly' Britpop era which proved so popular in the mid 1990s with the emphasis on eerie electronic music with some gospel thrown into the mix for good measure. Personally, I found this a difficult package to enjoy in its entirety and, although there are some very clever ideas here, I would happily have seen 1 or 2 of the longer tracks either shortened (or left off the running order altogether) in order to reduce the fearsomely long 67 minute run time down towards the 50 minute mark.
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on 7 April 2017
A real ageless classic
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on 7 November 2016
Pleased a fan for their birthday.
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on 4 April 2014
I hadn't listened to this album since I was at university - it doesn't get a great deal of attention, but the songs Tender and Coffee & TV are 2 of the best they ever wrote.
There's some "out there" material but it's also rather wonderful, on the whole.
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on 14 September 2016
Arrived in a cracked and beaten case, packaging load of rubbish !!!
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on 27 March 2015
its a grower 3 times im there,
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on 20 January 2015
Blur, I love you. This trip away from Brit Pop-edy-pop made my heart soar when I first bought this album, all those years ago. This time, I'm looking after the CD so it doesn't skip all over the place.

This is a truly great album. If I suddenly became famous and went ion Desert Island Discs, I would run to the studio with this safely stashed in my inside coat pocket. Forget the rest of my other music stuff; honestly, this album has something for us all. Coffee and TV is perhaps the perfect pop song. It is so good, I have listened to it at least (and I kid you not) 1000 times and I still end up back skipping to listen to it again.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 19 May 2015
After the excellent and experimental album that was 1997's self-titled 'Blur', Britpop's finest young men released '13' two years later, which continued with frontman Damon's increasing interest in different, interesting, and experimental music. Blur were progressing in a big way, and as much as I adore the earlier stuff, my favourite album being 'Modern Life Is Rubbish' forever, it is very refreshing to hear more moodier and atmospheric music from these men, as opposed to the quirky, upbeat pop music that they had already proven they could excel at. In fact, the only song here that sounds anything like the old Blur, is the catchy single 'Coffee & TV', one of three massive hits that '13' spawned.

Damon's song writing was probably at a peak here, which isn't surprising considering the very difficult periods he was experiencing in his own personal life. As a result of this, he was able to write some of his most beautiful, and deep songs. The aforementioned 'Coffee and TV' is about alcoholism, describing his own battles with the demon drink. One of the real highlights, the completely heart-breaking 'No Distance Left to Run', was written after Damon's breakup with his long-term girlfriend Justine Frischmann, the lead singer of the band Elastica. Another is the much more experimental 'Caramel', describing the struggle he had to get over the breakup. Damon might find these songs difficult to sing, but to us fans, they are just incredible to listen to. It's rather difficult to believe that this is the same man who had penned the infectious 'Girls and Boys' just a half a decade before.

Things started off on a slightly happier note, with the epic opening track 'Tender', which tells of a lover which Damon loves too much (and he undoubtedly also wrote this one about Frischmann), with it's catchy lyrics and beautiful gospel choir. This is a fan favourite, and it just missed the top spot in the UK singles charts. The full 7:41 minute version is here.

I have a soft spot for all of the Blur albums, they are after all my favourite pop band. However, '13' is one of my most played, with songs that genuinely still touch me after all these years. It's a shame that Damon had to experience such personal heartache in order to write these beauties, but fortunately for us, he was able to turn his heartache into truly excellent song writing. The end result was a moody, beautiful, and very personal album. I'll be forever a fan!
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on 7 November 2014
Bought 13 when it came out (in silly packaging), played it to death for a few months, then inevitably moved on...

I played it again this morning - 15 years later - while clearing out old CDs, etc to send to the charity shop &, my God, it sounds better than ever. It's sufficiently good that you could actually omit the bookending singles "Tender" & "No Distance Left To Run" & still be left with a remarkable record.

This one is definitely staying on the shelf, sorry Oxfam. :)
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on 20 March 2010
I remember I got this album back in 99, as a bright eyed and naive schoolboy of 14. "Tender" and "Coffee & TV" had just been released, and I loved (and still do) these, beautiful, emotional gems. So imagine my disappointment with 13. It was noisy, abstract and...weird. For a long while it lay dormant in my collection, as I got along with other transient piffle such as The Vines and The Cooper Temple Clause (remember? no)
Well, 11 years later and Blur are, thankfully, back with us and this album just might be their finest work. As brillinat as Blur have always been as a pop band, this is a million miles away from the likes of Parklife or Modern Life Is Rubbish. Even the eponymous album that preceeded this and offered the sensational likes of "Beetlebum" and "Song 2" is no match for the sheer daring experimentalism of this album. For a pop group, Blur always were an able bunch of musicians, but this album displays some truly outstanding work from the band as a unit and as individuals, paritucularly from the always innovative Graham Coxon. In a recent interview, Coxon stated that this was the point where he really felt he'd refined his skills as a guitarist, and the results here are at times breathtaking, creating the kind of dynamic noise that might make the likes of Mogwai or the Pumpkins sit up and take notice. But perhaps most impressive is Damon Albarn's at times woeful, at times enraged songcraft. He displays an emotional depth that was only ever hinted at in their earlier work, and there are moments where his vocals take on an angelic quality that is distinctive and powerful. "Trimm Trabb" is so visceral, so unsettlingly reflective ("all those losers on the piss again...that's just the way it is"), "Caramel" so hauntingly atmospheric and "No Distace Left to Run" so heartwrenchingly honest ("Its over, you don't have to tell me, I hope you're with someone that makes you feel safe in your sleep"), its hard to believe that this is in fact the same man who wrote about living in a big house in the country just a few years before.
Indeed, the sea-change in Blur's output that began with Beetlebum is easy to explain when
you follow their life story - quick, fast popular exposure spiralling into a mire of drugs, alcohol, personal animosity and heartbreak. But as emotive as 13 is, its not all doom and gloom, and in "Tender" it has given us a true, undisputably classic song. The overall feel of the album is an atmospheric, stoned-out groove, owed in part to lashings of electronics, sampled beats and the production techniques of William Orbit.
Its a shame that this was the album that broke the band and sent Coxon into rehab. The follow up was the lukewarm "Think Tank", sans Graham, that many cited as the beginning of the end for this once seminal band. But 2009 saw the miracle happen, and indeed many tracks from this outing were delighting audiences on their comeback tour alongside the likes of Girls & Boys, For Tomorrow and The Universal.
So, all in all, a fantasticlly mature piece of work, though not the classic Blur we all remember. I'm glad I kept my copy for a decade, and tentatively I wonder if the boys could offer us something new in the next along such lines....
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