194 – Blur – The Universal (1995)
Written by Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree
Produced by Stephen Street
Label – Food
“The Universal” is Blur’s recognition that being Britain’s biggest pop band wasn’t the magnificent achievement they’d imagined. Damon Albarn was questioning the inert, faceless, technology driven future that confronted human kind, and guitarist Graham Coxon was struggling with fame and all the seemingly empty trappings it entailed. Their sad, resigned take on a cold dystopian future is perfectly captured by Stephen Street’s grandiose arrangement that is deliberately at odds with Albarn’s descriptions of a flat, facile and unsatisfying existence.