“Out Of Time” (XFM Session, October 2003)
This is one ov them unreleased songs innit?
Boy howdy I forgot how much I loved this song. I forgot how I felt in 2003, to be honest, when I heard Think Tank, which may have been a smidge before I actually liked Blur for non-“Song 2” reasons. This was the first song, now that I think about it I’m almost sure, the first song that made me really like Blur in the same way I liked Neutral Milk Hotel, Flaming Lips, and Radiohead and those other iconic bands that are biblically awesome and emotionally accessible. In general, spurred by this grand review of the new Blur boxset, I’ve been listening to their discography this morning and Think Tank, which I haven’t listened to since I stopped listening to CDs (!) is such a great album.
Do you guys remember how Radiohead released those cool limited edition versions of Kid A and Amnesiac with all the Stanley Donwood and TCHOCK stuff? Blur did the same thing with Think Tank, and I’m pretty sure I bought like three different copies of it because I gave them away to friends because I loved the album so much. Which, obviously, makes me ask the obvious question:
Why the hell did I stop listening to this album?
I have no concrete idea, but I have a theory.
I’ve definitely listened to Parklife and Blur like a million times since then, since I decided (or, better, was induced) to like Blur. But somehow I just totally forgot that I really liked Think Tank. Maybe it was because I liked it before I started writing about music. Like, I write about the same things (Kanye, historicity, tube amps, NMH, Nas, etc.) over and over, and it’s almost like a form of religion or mythology that constantly re-creates my musical self. And so, like, most of the stuff I liked back, like, pre-2007 or pre-2010 more like, that hasn’t been re-claimed or re-issued has just fallen out of my purview. It’s strange, but it’s also, you know, extremely, I hate to use the word, sobering because now I can see why record companies re-issue things. You just really do sometimes forget about great albums.
Most of the time I’m not a fan of these big re-issue campaigns, but in this case I’m glad (super glad) it happened because it reminded me why Think Tank is great: it is sweet, textured, and tuneful like a banged up alarm clock set to remind you to go meet your sweetheart.