The Great Escape does lapse a bit into self-parody in a way. It's like the thought process was: you thought "Modern Life" sounded British? well here's Parklife! Now you think it couldn't be possible to be any more British than that? Well guess what? we've proved you wrong again! Try The Great Escape on for size muthafukas!
It's got a couple outright duds, which is enough to put it on a rung slightly lower than Parklife and Modern Life. but most of the songs are up to the same standards. It's probably the least "mature" Blur album in that most of the songs are upbeat, quirky, and have choruses that go "La La La La La La La". So I could see that turning off people who prefer the band's more mature side. But the highlights are among the hookiest tunes they ever did. Coxon also really starts to stretch out on his guitar a lot more with weird effects and stuff, and some of the deeper cuts on the album are oddly experimental (not quite to the same level as on an album like "13" but definitely foreshadowing it a bit).