Picks and Pans Review: Think Tank

updated 05/19/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/19/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Blur (Virgin)

Mark down the time and unplug the respirator, for Brit pop is officially dead. Blur, which threatened to become Britain's biggest band in the mid-'90s, when its bouncy sing-alongs were shouted across many a pub, have abandoned zingy pop (it never caught fire in the U.S. anyway) and moved on to an icy Euro-electronica like a teenager trading his comic books for Jean-Paul Sartre.

There is an understated, atmospheric prettiness that at times recalls the aching beauty of the Scottish band Belle and Sebastian, but electronica itself is in late middle age, and there is a fine line between laid-back and listless.

BOTTOM LINE: Blur should keep trying to refocus

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