Sound — 9
Blur is an alternative rock band who first emerged from London back in 1988. Since their 1991 debut album, "Leisure", Blur has gained worldwide attention, with such tunes as "Song 2" and "Coffee & TV" soon becoming massive radio hits. Now, these British boys gather together onstage to perform such power hits and deep tracks from their catalogue to a crowd of screaming, die hard fans during their new live album, "Parklive". This live album was recorded during the band's concert at Hyde Park, London, as part of the 2012 London Summer Olympic closing ceremony. Perhaps it was the magic of the Olympic games, but Blur somehow manages to not only powerfully jam through some of their greatest songs, but their performance given during this new live album might just top their studio versions.
The show is kicked off with "Girls & Boys", off of the album "Parklife". From the word "go", Blur appears bound and determined to hit London hard, with those engaging guitar riffs and simplistically powerful vocals perfectly roaring over the crowd. During their 2 hour performance, the members of Blur leave nearly no stone unturned, playing everything from "Sing", off their debut album, "Leisure", to the title track off of their latest studio album, "Think Tank", all to the overwhelming delight of the band's adoring audience members. The recording quality of the new live album is absolutely top notch, and if I close my eyes I almost feel as though I actually there attending the show. For the most part, "Parklive" is a dynamic live album, with everything from the recording quality to the band's top notch performance leaving very little room for error.
Lyrics — 9
Lead vocalist Damon Albarn masterfully tackles the vocal section of this band's live performance. Over the years his voice has aged like a good wine, only improving as the years pass. So hitting the high notes on such songs as "Under The Westway" appears to be just too easy for him. The fact that Damon manages to perfectly hit all of the notes, without even sounding out of breath, only adds to the luster that goes along with this new live album.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, "Parklive" is a fantastic live album that showcases only the finest qualities that goes along with a Blur performance. Every member of the band is top form throughout the entire concert, which makes the listening experience that much more enjoyable. The setlist is elaborate and lusive, including at least one track off of every one of the band's studio albums. Another fine addition to this release is a bonus disc comprised of rare, previously unreleased live tracks that should make diehard fans even more ecstatic.