In the 90s, the Britpop scene was dominated by two bands: Blur(lead by Damon) and Oasis(lead by Liam and Noel). The bands were rivals, as the media loved to portray them. Both bands were great, and their music defined an era. I loved them both (though Oasis slightly more), and their music filled a significant portion of my ‘music-mindshare’ in my late teenage years. Anyway, this post is not about my musical taste. What has been lingering in my mind lately is the interest in exploring the evolution of these musicians over the past decades.

In their youth, both Damon and Liam (further I will just refer to Liam, but this applies even more to Noel) were at the top of their game. Some of their songs are classics that captured the spirit of the 90s. But as time passed, the trajectories of these musicians diverged significantly. Damon continued to grow and explore, while Liam largely remained anchored to the style that brought him initial fame.

To me, Damon embodies artistic and personal growth. Post-Blur, he ventured into various musical landscapes. With the creation of Gorillaz, he fused rock, hip-hop, and electronic music, collaborating with artists across genres. Beyond Gorillaz, Damon explored different sounds and themes through other projects, his solo work, and even in today’s Blur. His continuous drive to explore new artistic avenues keeps him relevant in the contemporary music.

For Liam, there’s not much to say. His post-Oasis projects are exactly the same as 90s Oasis. While he has matured and is no longer a young man in his twenties, his style seems to be trapped in that time and mentality. And although his legacy in Britpop is huge, his inability to evolve has rendered him less interesting. His stagnation serves as a warning against the dangers of clinging too tightly to one’s past glories. This stagnation is quite dreadful. I’d say it’s one of my worst fears in life, aside from the more basic ones.

It’s hard to say if Liam could have done better. It’s more likely that he simply couldn’t. This also emphasizes the deception that two figures can be mistakenly thought to belong to the same league initially, when in reality they are entirely different beasts (deserves a separate post).

Although somewhat cliché, it is crucial to internalize the observation that to continue growing, one must consistently explore new creative paths. This principle applies not only to artists but also to anyone striving for lasting success and growth in their field. Being aware of the signs of stagnation and making an effort to combat it offers a chance to avoid falling into it, even though the battle may often be lost.

P. S.

I could’ve chosen any other figures, as history is full of such cases, from science to art, and maybe even entire civilizations.

Now, to the youth!