Think Tank

  • Record Label: Virgin
  • Release Date: May 6, 2003
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 119 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 3 out of 119

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  1. Dec 6, 2013
    7
    Graham Coxon's absences from Thinktank see's Damon Albarn's creativity unshackled. Blur have always been regarded as the more "arty" alternative to Britpop. I have always thought Blur were given a bit too much credit for being experimental in the 90's. Blur had some classic singles in their day but when they were experimental, it was often with fairly boring or rubbish results with onlyGraham Coxon's absences from Thinktank see's Damon Albarn's creativity unshackled. Blur have always been regarded as the more "arty" alternative to Britpop. I have always thought Blur were given a bit too much credit for being experimental in the 90's. Blur had some classic singles in their day but when they were experimental, it was often with fairly boring or rubbish results with only the occasional idea that really came off well. Here, the experimentation pays off nicely for the most part and Thinktank is one of the few Blur records that doesn't lean heavily on hit singles. The album carries itself with confidence and maturity and is only a couple of tracks short of being great.

    It's a pity that this was their last proper record had Albarn concentrated his musical output over the last 10 years into Blur going down this direction they could have gone on to make a few records to match Radiohead.
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  2. Jun 28, 2013
    9
    The pioneers of Britpop preferred using heavy sounds, atmospheric and electronic instead of his Britpop roots or Alternative Rock late nineties. The way in which the change of style is quite obvious as it looks a very emotional after the departure of Coxon, Sweet Song I mean, it's pretty good, I must admit. In Gene by Gene and Crazy Beat added more instruments to fill the void left byThe pioneers of Britpop preferred using heavy sounds, atmospheric and electronic instead of his Britpop roots or Alternative Rock late nineties. The way in which the change of style is quite obvious as it looks a very emotional after the departure of Coxon, Sweet Song I mean, it's pretty good, I must admit. In Gene by Gene and Crazy Beat added more instruments to fill the void left by Coxon. But they did it in a way that really works Expand
  3. Feb 15, 2013
    10
    With Coxon departing the band to pursue his own solo career, blur were left to focus on Albarns weird influences, but what end product can those influences deliver. Think tank sounds quite nothing like blurs early material with African, hip hop, electronic, experimental melodies enriching their music as a whole, while the britpop is abandoned completely. The sounds can even picture thoseWith Coxon departing the band to pursue his own solo career, blur were left to focus on Albarns weird influences, but what end product can those influences deliver. Think tank sounds quite nothing like blurs early material with African, hip hop, electronic, experimental melodies enriching their music as a whole, while the britpop is abandoned completely. The sounds can even picture those early to mid 20th century films who take place deep down the ocean with people wearing those underwater helmets presented well by Banksy on the albums artwork. Even though the music is filled with melancholy, it can still put a smile on your face especially while lying in the sun and discovering all the beauties of the world and your own mind through it or being in nature emptying the previously mentioned mind from useless thoughts. The adventure begins with ambulance and ends with a battery in your leg, which is the only track with Coxon contributing. Without any further ado, we should agree that putting Albarn in full control was the best thing that could have happened to blur as it has taken them to the musically higher level. With songs like brothers and sisters, on the way to the club, caravan and more, blur have shown and highlighted the direction in which Albarn has departed while keeping the bands sound recognisable. That sound filled with water associations can make your tears come down, drowning anything you've heard so far and making it one of the best albums of the last decade. Collapse
  4. Aug 13, 2012
    10
    Don't let Metacritic fool you, this is nowhere near Britpop. Anyway, it's amazing for Blur's last album (for now that is, we'll see in the future). Interesting, odd, tender, touching, are some of the few words that can describe this magnificent album.
  5. j30
    Dec 7, 2011
    10
    Think Tank is a classic in it's own right. It's amazing that each track is so different, yet it all fits as a whole, cohesive piece of pop-rock art. It's not only in my top ten of that year, but of all-time.
  6. Jun 17, 2011
    10
    Blur just kept on getting better. While 13 was an interesting experiment, here the gang goes all out jawesome. It's so much more deep than any other Blur album, both lyrically and sonically. There's so many great beats, rhythms, and melodies here to choose from. It's a trip around the world.
  7. Jun 3, 2011
    10
    I've never been much of a Blur fan, but this album creates a whole new feeling towards them. Think Tank is a perfectly produced album. One of the best produced albums I've heard in quite a long time actually. Each track has a different layer of music that's not only catchy and great, but equally impressive and original. Nothing you've ever heard before, I guarantee that. All In All, ThinkI've never been much of a Blur fan, but this album creates a whole new feeling towards them. Think Tank is a perfectly produced album. One of the best produced albums I've heard in quite a long time actually. Each track has a different layer of music that's not only catchy and great, but equally impressive and original. Nothing you've ever heard before, I guarantee that. All In All, Think Tank is an astonishing record that should not go missed by anyone that really enjoys music as much as I do. A Expand
  8. May 11, 2011
    10
    Ironically enough, one of Blur's best albums. Crafted at a rather nice time when Albarn had a slew of new ideas. Without Coxon, Albarn takes the lead here and blows the lid off of experimentation. With songs like Caravan, Out of Time, Battery In Your Leg, and Sweet Song it really never goes wrong. The guitar work here may not be as innovative or skillful as Coxon's, but the creative useIronically enough, one of Blur's best albums. Crafted at a rather nice time when Albarn had a slew of new ideas. Without Coxon, Albarn takes the lead here and blows the lid off of experimentation. With songs like Caravan, Out of Time, Battery In Your Leg, and Sweet Song it really never goes wrong. The guitar work here may not be as innovative or skillful as Coxon's, but the creative use and splashes of guitar string together a rather nice atmosphere. Without Coxon, Albarn hits new strides of experimentation and ultimately crafts a masterpiece of an album. This is without a doubt in my mind the most underrated album ever. Expand
  9. AaronS
    Aug 3, 2007
    10
    I love Blur!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  10. LandonC.
    Jun 28, 2007
    10
    Damon's genius comes through, even without Coxon. Simply amazing.
  11. DaveS
    Mar 15, 2007
    10
    Think Tank, while a little weird in that every track is completely different from the last, doesent have a bad song on it. I'll definetly be hoping for Graham to come back though.
  12. MartinP
    Jan 26, 2007
    10
    Simply a modern masterpiece
  13. DyonCzechRep
    Sep 19, 2006
    10
    Definitelly the best album i have ever heard!!! Can you feel it when he sings FEEL THE SUNHISNE ON YOUR FACE? or the sound of guitar in BATTERY IN YOUR LEG? who doesn't cant have a heart. Bad rewiews are out of mind
  14. Carillon
    Apr 8, 2006
    10
    I love each and every single song on this album. To all dissapointed people: just give it some time and the songs start to play in your head. It was the same with me-...and now I'm really excited each time I put it into my stereo!!
  15. matta
    Aug 11, 2005
    9
    Blur's fourth best album (after, in order, Blur, Parklife, and 13), proves that while Coxon's guitar was a nice element in Blur's music, it is not necessarily necessary, because Damon's great songwriting is what really makes Blur tick. Diverse and highly original, this is a great album, Blur for the 21st century.
  16. AaronS
    Jul 12, 2005
    10
    I love Blur!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  17. neilh
    Jun 27, 2005
    10
    most intense harmonies and melodies since the beatles in my opinion, never had an album with so many songs that gave me chills, ive grown so emotionally attached to this album that reading bad reviews actually hurts!
  18. DanielC
    May 12, 2005
    10
    still got it...
  19. Lucky
    May 4, 2005
    10
    If anyone gave this record a low score, it's because they didn't take the time to really LISTEN to it. At first glance I was skeptical, but I changed my mind over time. Maybe someday the folks at Blender will realize the error of their ways.
  20. LawrenceP
    Feb 5, 2005
    10
    They have made their classic. "good song" is my favorite.
  21. DC
    Jan 28, 2005
    10
    One word: Brilliant!
  22. ElfElfi
    Nov 15, 2004
    10
    I love this album!!!!!!!!!
  23. jsung
    Sep 26, 2004
    10
    Masterpiece!!!
  24. JoeM
    Aug 5, 2004
    10
    My fav. Blur ablum (only 1 I own) and one of my top 10 Albums of all time. A strange sound which is all over the place... but I think it's well aware of that fact and makes it work.
  25. BenjaminBunny
    Apr 16, 2004
    8
    Not at all as intensely emotional as the previous "13," "Think Tank" forgoes teary confessions for danceable beats and returns to a more classicly "pop" sensibility while progressing nicely into a succintly electronic realm from the spazzy eclecticism of their last two LPs. Of course, it's great--I doubt Blur could make a bad album if they tried.
  26. TomasC
    Sep 26, 2003
    10
    Blur just shows how unique band it is.This album is the evidence of it. BLUR RULZ
  27. NseE
    Aug 31, 2003
    10
    An effortlessly classy, experimental and cool cd. Heading in the direction of Radiohead. Standouts include the beautiful 'Caravan', 'Ambulance', 'Battery in your leg', 'On my way to the club' and 'Good song'. Ooh!!!
  28. JasonS
    Jul 26, 2003
    9
    Blur tries their hand at the same electronic sampling and experimentation that Radiohead sometimes tries.....It works much better for Blur it seems...They seem much more comfortable with it...and might I say...that this was the first Blur album I bought, and after this went back to listen to Blur, Parklife and 13...this isnt as good as those...but its very good in its own right...Kid A Blur tries their hand at the same electronic sampling and experimentation that Radiohead sometimes tries.....It works much better for Blur it seems...They seem much more comfortable with it...and might I say...that this was the first Blur album I bought, and after this went back to listen to Blur, Parklife and 13...this isnt as good as those...but its very good in its own right...Kid A meets Blur? I dont think so...but they make the sound their own... Expand
  29. JakubR
    Jun 14, 2003
    10
    Blur released absolutely extraordinary album, the best in their career.
  30. Flawedbeing
    Jun 9, 2003
    8
    Think Tank was recorded in Africa, and apparently the heat was too much for some. One-half of the band?s founding members, Graham Coxon, quit due to a separation of vision between he and Damion Albarn. Coxon wanted to stay true to what he felt the band?s roots were- a core of heavy metal mixed with a punk attitude, immortalized with ?Song 2?- and had always resented Blur?s place in the Think Tank was recorded in Africa, and apparently the heat was too much for some. One-half of the band?s founding members, Graham Coxon, quit due to a separation of vision between he and Damion Albarn. Coxon wanted to stay true to what he felt the band?s roots were- a core of heavy metal mixed with a punk attitude, immortalized with ?Song 2?- and had always resented Blur?s place in the spotlight as possibly the greatest band of the 90?s. With Albarn pushing the band to more experimental ends (this is, after all, the man who took a year off to create an album called Mali Music), the situation was too much for Coxon, who only appears on the closing track (?Battery In Your Leg?) and whose incredible guitar work is undoubtably missed. It is a wonder, then, that Think Tank is such an extraordinary album. Freed of trying to keep the other half of the band happy, Albarn makes this album sound like a jam session of ten different groups: Think Tank sounds by turns like Beck, Radiohead, Yo La Tengo, David Bowie, Fatboy Slim (unsurprising, as he produced two of the tracks), and sometimes even- gasp- Blur. This is, in fact, the major problem with the album. Anything even vaguely resembling ?cohesion? or ?consistency of sound? is viciously shoved aside as Blur rocket through electronica (?Ambulance?), punk rock (?We?ve Got A File On You?), ballads (?Caravan?), and freeform jazz (?Jets?) over the course of an hour. It?s a dizzying ride, to be sure, and sometimes you wonder what on Earth is going on. Yet the sheer quality of a majority of the songs on Think Tank more than compensates for any lack of cohesion. In fact, the situation is almost a boon: who needs another album when this Blur outing gives you everything you could possibly need? Almost every song here is absolute genius; ?Ambulance,? ?Caravan,? and ?Moroccan Peoples Revolutionary Bowls Club? are particular standouts but picking a few tracks to represent this album to be silly. In fact, the only song that isn?t up to par is the Fatboy Slim-produced ?Crazy Beat,? which is obnoxious and out of place on an album as high-quality as this one. It is easy to be daunted by Think Tank?s freewheeling style, but this is an album you can?t help but be grown upon by. With each subsequent listen, the knockout quality of Think Tank impresses itself more and more upon your consciousness until you realize that, even with all its flaws, this is one of the best albums of 2003. Expand
  31. Parsefone
    Jun 8, 2003
    9
    It's amazing, listening to this, that Blur used to be compared with Oasis. I think it's fairly clear, merely on the strength of tracks like "Out of Time", "Sweet Song", and "Caravan", who the real victors of the Britpop war were. Reason it doesn't get a 10 in my book is because of "Crazy Beat", which shows all too clearly what might have happened if Blur really were Oasis, It's amazing, listening to this, that Blur used to be compared with Oasis. I think it's fairly clear, merely on the strength of tracks like "Out of Time", "Sweet Song", and "Caravan", who the real victors of the Britpop war were. Reason it doesn't get a 10 in my book is because of "Crazy Beat", which shows all too clearly what might have happened if Blur really were Oasis, and continued to live in the past. Quirky, sensitive, and brilliant. Expand
  32. HenryH
    Jun 7, 2003
    10
    While Damon and his fellows drifting down to the Art-Pop genre, they definitely came out with one of the most ambitious albums in recent year.
  33. RaúlS
    Jun 3, 2003
    8
    Not as strong as Parklife, Blur or even 13, but still a great album! With two or three tracks taken apart, it would have been a 10... and am I the only one who thinks this is Blur meets Kid A??
  34. brandenb
    Jun 2, 2003
    9
    It took me a while to get but once I got it, I was just amazed....parklife and 13 were my favourite but TANK took the cake. I thought "crazy beat" was a little out of place though.
  35. WiseOwl
    May 23, 2003
    3
    This concept album is a retreat from the raw emotion displayed by Blur on prior albums, and crafts it into a sharp production. Most tracks have a world beat, including the excellent Moroccan Peoples Revolutionary Bowls Club and Jets. Yet sharp production is more referring to aesthetically than as a record. The entire production is misplaced. The tracks aren?t in the right order. Why is This concept album is a retreat from the raw emotion displayed by Blur on prior albums, and crafts it into a sharp production. Most tracks have a world beat, including the excellent Moroccan Peoples Revolutionary Bowls Club and Jets. Yet sharp production is more referring to aesthetically than as a record. The entire production is misplaced. The tracks aren?t in the right order. Why is the second single Out of Time, a ballad, placed before the awful first single Crazy Beat. Sure, some people like the track for its novelty, but as a rocker it is extremely weak and thus received little airplay. Blur was selling out to try to get another Song 2. This explains why the song doesn?t fit in with anything else on the disk. There are some decent tracks on Sweet Song, Battery In Your Leg, and the short We?ve Got A File On You. Yet the rest of the disk is indie filler, which is strange for an established band. It appears that the artists had a blast making the album (though the guitarist quit the group during the process), but the listener certainly doesn?t share the same level of glee. What?s worse is that the band tries to be like Radiohead in spots and falls on their face. Blur is now a band with no identity ? this CD should have been the one called ?Hail To The Thief,? because it is far better at stealing the ideas of others than coming up with its own. Expand
  36. SusieSing
    May 23, 2003
    3
    What, are we so desperate for good music taht we're praising mediocrity now? I love Blur but this is a tacky and uninspired record; no amount of wishful thinking can change what a flop this is. Maybe it's time to throw in the towel, guys.
  37. VitorZ
    May 23, 2003
    9
    10 is a bit too much for a rating, but this album is so very close to it. This album is enjoyable for the casual listener while still very, very subtle. It is pop, yes, but it's so deep, so substancial, that you will feel the heartache of some songs without even knowing what hit you first.
  38. TylerSwank
    May 20, 2003
    10
    easily blur's most listenable album from beginning to end. true, albarn demands more of the band's direction, but great music is great music, and i think the rest of the band knows that, so why not? they are getting older, but also refining their methods and learning, bringing something new and interesting to the world which is desperately needed. Absolutely the best album of easily blur's most listenable album from beginning to end. true, albarn demands more of the band's direction, but great music is great music, and i think the rest of the band knows that, so why not? they are getting older, but also refining their methods and learning, bringing something new and interesting to the world which is desperately needed. Absolutely the best album of 2003 as of yet. Expand
  39. mikek
    May 14, 2003
    9
    When did accessible, crafty lyrics, catchy hooks and well produced riffs become so threatening? Liz already proved she's a powerful, credible artist-- Searching out a little mass appeal is her prerogative. And as a long time fan, I applaud her effort. I hope LIZ PHAIR sells 10 million copies, she deserves the success. To the 200-400 thousand misanthropes and critics who heralded When did accessible, crafty lyrics, catchy hooks and well produced riffs become so threatening? Liz already proved she's a powerful, credible artist-- Searching out a little mass appeal is her prerogative. And as a long time fan, I applaud her effort. I hope LIZ PHAIR sells 10 million copies, she deserves the success. To the 200-400 thousand misanthropes and critics who heralded 1993?s ?Exile?? as a seminal album and singular artistic achievement, I don?t disagree. But I also think it was the right album at the right time. Quit acting so betrayed by her current effort, it's only one stop on Liz's lifelong artistic roadtrip. (You might also want to quit pining after your high school crush, regretting the major you chose in college, and the job/relationship you've been stuck in since graduation. Grow up, move on, or go pin your frustrations on an artist who's similarly stuck in his/her past, or better yet, one who died trying to escape it. Plenty of those out there.) Congrats, Liz-- great stuff. Expand
  40. pokemonica
    May 13, 2003
    9
    Definately at great album. Not quite a blur style, but still awesome anyhow.
  41. Dan
    May 13, 2003
    9
    Hated it the first few spins but now it's plugged into my head 24 hours a day. You feel the guitarist missing, dammit! But it's still great.
  42. RebeccaN
    May 12, 2003
    10
    I love this album, I've been a fan of Blur since Leisure. This is possibly one of their best albums, even with the departure of Graham Coxon. It's unique, it's soulful, it's inspiring, it's BLUR. Track favourites are Out of Time, Crazy Beat, Good Song, On the way to the club, Sweet song, Jets & Battery in your leg. I can't stop listening to it.
  43. andrear
    May 12, 2003
    9
    I think that Blur's departure from their early britpop style...has given the band a new and fresh vitality, and their use of electronics is perfectly consequent rather than being a simple way of following the times.
  44. ArthurD
    May 7, 2003
    8
    It´s a great piece of work. Great songs, a great band behind... But I miss Coxon´s arrangements. Despite this little detail they still are the most dynamic pop band. Nobody does such "good songs"with so great a production. "Ambulance", "On the way to the club" "Sweet song"etc
  45. AdamL
    May 6, 2003
    9
    Great album with one or two semi annoying misteps that don't take away from the overall experience too much, You'll hate it at first then put it away for a week and find you're humming the entire album at odd hours of the day. Then you'll give it another spin and fall in love
  46. CD
    May 4, 2003
    5
    no where near parklife, when graham left he took the best ear for good music with him.
  47. PatoR
    May 2, 2003
    10
    Masterpiece, that is the only word I can say about this album. I have to say I am a fan of Coxon's guitar but this album without him sounds as good as the previous. Blur confirm: they are the best band in UK, and certainly one of the best bands in the world. The peak moments of the album are, Out Of time, good song, sweet song, battery in your leg, on the way to the club. What else? Masterpiece, that is the only word I can say about this album. I have to say I am a fan of Coxon's guitar but this album without him sounds as good as the previous. Blur confirm: they are the best band in UK, and certainly one of the best bands in the world. The peak moments of the album are, Out Of time, good song, sweet song, battery in your leg, on the way to the club. What else? I can't listen this album without a smile in my face, thinking how a music band can create these great songs. Expand
  48. PatricioR
    May 2, 2003
    10
    Great, masterpiece. I love this album. Just Blur can do such an album like this. I've been a fan of Blur since Parklife, they have changed their style in every work they have made and really Think Tank is amazing. I appreciate Graham Coxon's work in the others albums but this one without him is as great as the others with him. Think Tank: A fantastic album, the peaks are Out oF Great, masterpiece. I love this album. Just Blur can do such an album like this. I've been a fan of Blur since Parklife, they have changed their style in every work they have made and really Think Tank is amazing. I appreciate Graham Coxon's work in the others albums but this one without him is as great as the others with him. Think Tank: A fantastic album, the peaks are Out oF time, Crazy Beat, good Song, sweet song, jets, battery in you leg, on the way to the club. I can't understand the bad reviews. They've changed but they make it in the best way they can do it without Coxon. Expand
  49. PatricioR
    May 2, 2003
    10
    Great, masterpiece. I love this album. Just Blur can do such an album like this. I've been a fan of Blur since Parklife, they have changed their style in every work they have made and really Think Tank is amazing. I appreciate Graham Coxon's work in the others albums but this one without him is as great as the others with him. Think Tank: A fantastic album, the peaks are Out oF Great, masterpiece. I love this album. Just Blur can do such an album like this. I've been a fan of Blur since Parklife, they have changed their style in every work they have made and really Think Tank is amazing. I appreciate Graham Coxon's work in the others albums but this one without him is as great as the others with him. Think Tank: A fantastic album, the peaks are Out oF time, Crazy Beat, good Song, sweet song, jets, battery in you leg, on the way to the club. I can't understand the bad reviews. They've changed but they make it in the best way they can do it without Coxon. Expand
  50. JohnG
    May 1, 2003
    10
    Superb but Graham is definetly missed.
  51. GaryB
    May 1, 2003
    10
    The best album I have heard in years.
  52. Bruno
    Apr 28, 2003
    10
    It's an incredible achievement and their best album alongside "Blur" and "Modern Life...". I love Grahan's work with Blur but...Well, whatever, I hope one day he'll be back to this wild bunch. "Think Tank" is this year's real most crucial purchase anyway.
  53. DanDan
    Apr 27, 2003
    9
    Don't buy this album if you cant take a bit of rough to get smooth. Don't buy this album if your looking for merry pop songs that take little to understand. Do buy this album if you like 13, and want to listen to one of the only bands that actually mutates musically. Do buy it if you like musical journeys and dont mind getting a bit dirty along the way.
  54. TomG
    Apr 25, 2003
    10
    Even if George or SARS would kill us, we will die with knowledge that in 21st century a real masterpieces were made. Think Tank is place where chaos transforms into the sunrise, where nuclear bomb looks like teddy bear and your greatest enemy is your best friend! Unbelievable that so naive and unique can sound a band wich was founded in late 80's! And the band is the only one - Even if George or SARS would kill us, we will die with knowledge that in 21st century a real masterpieces were made. Think Tank is place where chaos transforms into the sunrise, where nuclear bomb looks like teddy bear and your greatest enemy is your best friend! Unbelievable that so naive and unique can sound a band wich was founded in late 80's! And the band is the only one - simply called BLUR! Expand
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. An album so disjointed that it seems to artfully fall apart as it plays.
  2. 100
    Give it a couple of spins, and you'll find it's completely mind-blowing.
  3. Uncut
    100
    The sharpest, most imaginative and downright listenable album of Blur's career to date.... A grown-up alt.rock album of breathtaking potency and invention. [Album of the Month, June 2003, p.90]