Blur's second LP is their secret classic. Coming between the pop-psych shimmer of 1991's Leisure and the cool Britannia of 1994's Parklife, the brittle jangle and bitter observations on Modern Life Is Rubbish were near-career-killers. But this two-CD reissue (part of a grand dress-up of Blur's catalog, including a 21-disc box) arms the LP's real bravado. "Advert" and "Pressure on Julian" anticipate the full-throttle indie-rock swerve on the '97 hit Blur, with more Kinks and David Bowie in the clamor. Of note among the many B sides: the lethal Byrds sizzle of "I'm Fine" and Damon Albarn's soured-David Bowie vocal flair over the garage-band snap of "Mace."
Listen to 'Modern Life Is Rubbish':