Think Tank

Brit-poppers Blur have lost their guitarist, and they're all the better for it. Former axman Graham Coxon plays only on the album's closing track, "Battery in Your Leg," one of several yearning, sorrowful songs on Think Tank, an album so disjointed that it seems to artfully fall apart as it plays. Taking Coxon's place is just space, and experimentation — Blur use their bass guitar as a lead instrument, employ simple but odd bits of guitar from frontman (and erstwhile Gorillaz voice) Damon Albarn and toss in delicate or brash keyboards. Their penchant for pillaging rock's past has vanished with Coxon, but their melodic faculties remain, and crafty tunes complement the sonic decay. There are flashes of punk and fresh hints of world music, as Andalusian string players adorn the gorgeously mournful single "Out of Time." The old Blur have died, but the new, more open Blur come startlingly alive.

From The Archives Issue 451: July 4, 1985