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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 29 November 2003
This album is the point in Blur's rambling musical career where it all came together. The band may well disagree with this, but this is the most cohesive album they produced. Rather than remembering Blur for two and a half minutes of screaming (Song 2) or for their tussles with Oasis (Country house, Charmless man), I'd suggest you take a look at this album.
Its simply a very very perceptive interpretation of a British way of life . 'Girls and Boys' takes you on a club 18-30, 'End of a Century' returns you to suburbia. 'Parklife' makes a slob of you, 'London Loves' deposits you in the rush hour and 'Magic America' gives you the dreams of escaping to bright lights. Finally, in one of the most beautiful moments of the nineties 'This is a Low' leaves you soaring over the land you know and love before 'Lot 106' brings a stupid grin to your face.
Its an evocative album, musically great, and most importantly its the best thing Blur ever did. Don't get the greatest hits, buy this instead. And then buy the rest of the albums.
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on 15 January 2000
Music critics have never had shorter memories than when they have dealt with Blur. When 'The Great Escape', the sequel to 'Parklife', was released, they rightly hailed it as a classic. Ask them now, however, and you won't find many who will even admit to ever liking it - the music press follows fashion just like the rest of us. But all this is a round-the-houses way of saying that only the most ardent Blur-haters will think the same of 'Parklife'. Not a note is out of place, not a song fails to captivate. From the initial shock of Girls and Boys to the monumental, magnificent ending of This Is A Low (not forgetting the playful coda of Lot 105, a trick they tried again with less success on '13'), this is arguably the album of the decade. With pop music in possibly its unhealthiest condition since it was invented, we can only look back in wonder at albums like 'Parklife' and hope that somehow, somewhere, rock and roll will return for that one last encore all over again.
Blur, meanwhile, are just as interesting now as they were then, perhaps even more so, but will they ever release a record of this stature again?
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VINE VOICEon 16 December 2006
A quasi-concept album about Britain and its Americanisation, Parklife is the peak of Blur, coming as the second part of their Britpop trilogy, after the poorly received (commercially at least) Modern Life Is Rubbish and before the decent The Great Escape. It also came out in the same year as Oasis' debut album shook the world's foundations and the Blur vs. Oasis battle began. Funnily enough, unlike the Beatles vs. Beach Boys rivalry thirty years earlier, both bands produced their greatest work before even beginning their competition, Oasis with their debut and Blur with this masterpiece.

Countless elements of Britain and its people are explored across this album's 53 enthralling minutes; monarchism in 'Jubilee;' everyday proletarianism in the title track; fashion trends and subcultures, as well as millenial interest in 'End Of A Century'; bank holidays on...well, 'Bank Holiday'; taxation and debt on 'The Debt Collector.' No stone is left unturned.

And from this concept/theme you get some of Blur's finest songs. The title track is famous thanks to Phil Daniels, but really not one of the standouts here. The elegaic 'Badhead,' with its chiming guitar and tasteful brass, is lovely, while 'Tracy Jacks' addresses stereotypes (better than the other Blur song of that name) with the line 'I'd love to stay here and be normal but it's just so overrated.' ]

Throughout, Albarne's cockney - or mockney depending on who you ask - voice and Graham Coxon's always dazzling guitar work hold everything together beautifully, and despite Coxon's apparent dissatisfaction with it, this is truly an album to be proud of, the jewel in Blur's crown.
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on 18 January 2006
This is Blur's finest work and is Britpop at it's best in the days of Blur and Oasis. From the dancing raving Girls And Boys, Magical Magic America, to the classis Parklife this album will fullfill your music taste in many ways and leaving loving Blur once again.
London Loves, Trouble In The Message Centre, Clover Over Dover are all masterpieces which will make you just get up and dance around.
My favourite Blur Album this will be worth your money and will take you back to the mad lads that are Blur...
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on 11 September 2000
How does it get any better than this? From the bouncy opener, through shouty pop and rock (Parklife, Bank Holiday) to classic love songs (To The End) and finishing with their most beautiful track that can make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck (This Is A Low), this album is sheer quality. If you don't already own it, consider yourself mocked. This one could change your life.
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on 4 July 2001
From the pogo-bop pop of 'Girls & Boys', to the rich and beautiful 'This is a Low', via punk, rock, indie, and music hall, here are 16 tracks with genuine variety, originality, freshness and quality. There isn't a moment that bores, and every note is brilliantly crafted, and expertly delivered. Without doubt THE album of the decade. My personal album of all time.
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on 28 November 2001
blur defined britpop. Damon Albarn was once the boisterous prince who sat proudly at the top and with this album ensured Blur were the best at what they did. From the amazing sound of Trouble in the message centre to the disco pop anthem of Girls & Boys there is not a dodgy track on this stunner. Buy it you wont regret it.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 August 2015
There comes a time when you have to make a decision. Parklife, the single was played time after time near to the time when I first joined a hospital radio station. Everybody loved it; everybody played it. I've always adored the record. However, it's never been in my collection, until I decided to look for it, at long last, and grab a copy whilst it might still be available. And, as is the norm with me, I come across this gem of an album quite by accident.

"Oh well; it's Blur! Gotta be good if Blur recorded it!" was how my thoughts went. And isn't it just :) Two discs, full of amazing songs that I just can't get enough of. This is a cracking 2 Disc version. Known here as the Special Edition; I'd do yourself a favour if I were you!
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on 1 January 2013
"Parklife" was the third studio album from Blur. Released in 1994 it marked a strong upturn in both the popularity of the London band and the quality of the songs they produced. "Leisure" was good but lacked the punch needed to make it super duper great, while "Modern Life Is Rubbish" was let down by several tunes that sounded too similar to one another. But "Parklife" was where the band really found its mojo, and the timing couldn't have been any better. Oasis would hit the scene that same year. A Britpop battle was on the horizon.

The appeal of "Parklife" is that it's an album that gets stronger and stronger the more you hear it. One playthrough and there's a tune that gets stuck in your head. One more and another one gets in there. Soon you'll find yourself listening to the album "just one more time" just to find out if your ears will fall in love with any particular tune. This will happen quite a few times, trust me.

So onto the highlights. Two of the best tracks on the album are two classic pieces that have been played numerous times on the radio and on music channels, GIRLS AND BOYS and PARKLIFE. The former is a disco-ish track about being on holiday, having fun and trying to get laid; and while the latter is more spoken than sung it's a true blue cockney anthem that will make every Londoner stand up, salute and generally feel proud of where they come from. Both songs are upbeat, bring back fond memories of the 90's, and are simply great.

Also on the list of "must hear" songs we have TRACY JACKS, a lively piece of light rock about a middle aged guy going through a mid life crisis. The faint use of violins in the background adds to its liveliness and makes it worth several plays. TO THE END appears to be about being immature and drunk. The delicate mixture of rock and classical make it a good night time listen. Also we have LONDON LOVES, a rock tune where the drums and guitars work beautifully in tandem while talking about a rich man and his liking of speeding around London in a flashy motor car. TROUBLE IN THE MESSAGE CENTRE is pretty good as well, mainly because -well to me at least- the old-school techno sounding notes in the verses are reminiscent of a SEGA Mega Drive video game.

CLOVER OVER DOVER is about suicidal man planning to jump off the cliffs of Dover, but wants to make sure he's wrapped up any loose ends in his life before doing so. Despite the depressing story this is another tune that grows on you over time due to its decent blend of instruments. The way lyrics come out in the chorus is rather appealing as well. Meanwhile MAGIC AMERICA -which is about wanting to live in the land of Stars & Stripes- is a winner due to its strong energetic drum beat; and the way the lyrics in the chorus segments are sung, like CLOVER, are pretty good. "He wants to go to ma-gic A-me-ri-ca" is a line you'll be singing for a while after you've stopped playing the album.

In terms of bad songs we have BANK HOLIDAY. It has a really fast tempo and is overloaded with lyrics about stuff to do on a bank holiday. I think the message is bank holidays are short, so make the most of them and do as much fun stuff as possible, just like the layout of the song. It's a clever idea in theory, but in terms of execution it just doesn't work. FAR OUT is just bland from start to finish; while THE DEBT COLLECTOR sounds like something you would hear on a 1950's merry-go-round with its use of trombone and clarinet. It's good...if you're about 200 years old. The good news is this trio of bad songs don't last very long (THE DEBT COLLECTOR is the longest at 2:10), so if you insist on listening to them out of curiosity at least you won't be tortured for long.

Overall "Parklife" is a high quality album worthy of 5-Stars and the purchase, and not even the content of the previous paragraph can lower that score. Oh, one more thing: Read the review title out loud in a cockney drool and you'll understand what I was trying to do. Clever, ain't it?
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on 31 July 2012
These blur reissues are brilliant for the price.
A smart box including a double cd in a gatefold mini album sleeve.
An Interesting booklet with full details.
4 Postcards and a free mp3 download with bonus material.
These are the best deluxe editions available.
I would have been happy to pay more for a dvd with the videos and tv shows.
Parklife has always been a favourite, i have got the japanese 'barking dogs' version.
I feel sorry for the fans who have ordered the 21 box set.
They will have to buy all of the albums again.
I would not be surprised to see the Showtime DVD released as a deluxe Blu-Ray in time for Christmas!

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