Sound — 8
The Stone Roses produced a baggy, discoesque sound with "Fool's Gold", a hit record which was spinning in the UK's hottest clubs all through 1989, 1990, and beyond. Blur tried to recreate that sound with "There's No Other Way", which sounded the same, but was nowhere near as good. The reason for this was probably the fact that Blur was trying to be The Stone Roses, trying to be The Happy Mondays, and not trying to be the band who pointed out cleverly that Modern Life was, in fact, rubbish. Upon further listening I have likened to the sound, but this opinion is coming from a biased Blur fanatic. Although there are no videos including milk cartons, or catchy singles featuring narration from 'that guy from Quadrophonia', Leisure's singles recalled a gloomy time in the early '90s where everything you heard had a little bit of reverb in it. And that wasn't a problem, really, it just, emphasized the rain falling on your windows.
Lyrics — 5
The album is pretty much spot on or way off when it comes to the lyrics. Songs like 'Bang' and 'Repetition' are so bad that you'll be screaming at Damon Albarn to stop "Try, Try, Try"-ing to be The Stone Roses and "start start start" being the witty pop group that revolutionized America's outlook on their funny-accented friends. The album does have it's high points though, we find Damon wanting to crawl all over a woman in "She's So High", complaining about someone taking the fun out of everything in "There's No Other Way", and pressuring us to sing to him in, of course, "Sing". Songs like "Bad Day" and "Come Together" do have benefits, and "Slow Down" finally sounds like them forming into something, but you'll be trying to drown out the terrible-ness in "Birthday". The lead singles hinted that there was a bit of wit in Mr. Albarn, whose full potential would be shown a few years later on the classic "Modern Life Is Rubbish".
Overall Impression — 7
Well, comparing is a different story, but Blur wanted their debut to sound like, dare I say it again, The Stone Roses. The overall impression of the album for me is nowhere near the latter, who founded the Madchester scene, and doesn't come close for that matter, but still sounds rather fine. Being a man that has an unrequited love for any Blur album, it wasn't easy for me to face the facts that I would never be able to play guitar in replacement of Graham, but it was so much easier to cope with that than write this review. I am a hardcore Blur fan and I realize that every band has it's low moments, and, y'know, this was obviously Blur's lowest point. Have no fear, britpop fans, a few years later Blur would return far better than ever before!