During its heyday, the English band Blur was one of the groups that helped define the Britpop sound. With guitar-driven hooks and an adherence to a quintessential British sound, the quartet reached massive mainstream appeal throughout the 1990s before breaking up in 2003. Solidifying its lineup in 1988, Blur would go on to receive a lot of press attention from UK music journalists who praised the band's style, that was an evolution from the Madchester sound--a genre of music popular in Manchester in the 1980s that blended dance-friendly rhythms with psychedelic rock instrumentals. When Blur's debut album Leisure was released in 1991, though, many believed the group failed to live up to its expectations and dubbed it an outfit that was the result of anti-climax. Overcoming negative reviews and acceptance of its first album, the group went on a massive tour in a fight to win over listeners. Throughout this stint on the road, in particular the time spent in America, the members of Blur would become dissatisfied with the state of modern music and the band's approach to song composition. This resulted in a change of direction for the group and alteration of Blur's sound. This shift warranted the group more popularity, and subsequent albums like Parklife and The Great Escape would go on to help establish Blur as one of the more interesting acts to come out of England in recent memory. Though the band did break up in the early 2000s, it got back together in 2009 to play a number of British festivals and has since performed one-off shows on rare occasions.