The Press Article
Remember brown flock wallpaper, orange carpets, kipper ties 'Seaside Special'? Ah, the stench of the '70s. Nostalgia for all things disco means that we're confronted by Jump-suits and 'Night Fever' all around, but what today's 'tastemakers' forget is that disco was, is and ever will be, crap. If you want to get to the real heart of '70s music then you've got to turn to rock. Specifically big, classic Fleetwood Mac style rock. And that's what Supergrass have, unconsciously, done. Supergrass is a bold, beautiful step on from both 'In It For The Money' and debut 'I Should Coco'. The word 'mature' crops up, but without any horrible connotations. Instead, this is a fully-fledged adult record, that should be counted amongst the greats - Bowie, the Stones, the Beatles... And to be honest, you can spot shadows of bands past in the colours Supergrass choose to splatter us with. 'Moving' has a breezy Pink Floyd meets Average White Band feel whilst 'Your Love' has the suss of Bowie and the glam of early Japan. Guitars crash on the chorus and synthesizers create a cold atmosphere on the verses. In fact Bowie looms as a presence throughout, with Gaz's vocal sounding uncannily like the Thin White Duke on both the stupendously fun single 'Pumping On Your Stereo' and the rock-opera 'Jesus Came From Outer Space' whilst 'Beautiful People' could have come straight from a Lennon album. However towards the end of the album, on the standout 'Born Again' Gaz's voice is warm and rich; a style all his own. A dreamy, incredible bout of restrained psychedelia it's amongst the best things they've ever produced. Combined with the 'Abbey Road' feel of'Aeon' and the dark and disturbing 'What Went Wrong' it provides a depth and vision previous Supergrass albums have hinted at but not quite achieved.'What Went Wrong' in particular is fantastic. A tale of the mentally challenged living in their own world the bright "na na na's" provide a suitable counterpoint to the lyrics, "God save the unstable, who stand alone, they've done no wrong, it's such a wonderful life." And this is such a wonderful album. There's the epic 'Shotover Hill', all timpanis and 12-string guitars that's like Zeppelin's 'Rain Song' gone country, and the brilliant 'Far Away' which just keeps growing. As do Supergrass - up, up and away!
Nick Smith, Rock Sound - October 1999