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BLUR FINDS A CLEAR,
CATCHY NEW SOUND

Blur has always had an amazing ability to play music in limitless styles, yet still have its own recognizable sound. "Think Tank" is yet another example of Blur's ever-changing musical ability. Because of the loss of guitarist Graham Coxon, Blur had to change its style a little bit, but the slightly different sound is quite catchy. The band's songs are now more beat/technology-based, with simple guitar lines.

"Ambulance" starts the album off with the very catchy line, "I ain't got nothing to be scared of." Although it may not seem like it would, this just seems to be the right way for this album to start. Throughout this disc, the listener gets the feeling that lead singer Damon Albarn is trying to lead the band into making happy music, even if it is at times forced. This is not to say that the songs are bad in any way. But at times, the album has a very sad sound, while the music tries to keep up a happy feeling -- which may partially come from the loss of Graham.

As always, Blur includes some crazy, abstract lyrics, but overall, one can get a good feel for what most of these songs are about. But then again, the 13th and last track on the album, "Battery in Your Leg, starts: "This is a ballad for the good times, so put a battery in your leg, Put a rock beat over anything. Get it stuck in your head. You can be with me." Hmmmmm. There is also a Ramones-style punk song called "We've Got a File on You," in which the only lyrics are "We've Got a File on You."

This album is quite intricate. It takes a while to get into it, but once you do, you will love it. It has a good beat throughout, yet it is not cheesy pop muzik that you will hear on MTV. Overall, this album is worth the investment. But only after investing in Third Eye Blind's new album, which is probably the best album of the year. Now, that would be a cool touring combo.

Michael Snodgrass is a senior at Olean High School.

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