I Should Coco
This manic pop gem is one of the defining Britpop statements of the '90s. I Should Coco is an exquisite debut for Supergrass, blending a wide variety of influences with youthful exuberance and talent that defies their years (each member was barely into his twenties upon its release).
The trio's impressive musicianship and decided lack of pretentiousness contribute to the album's mixed-up feel, as they throw a wide variety of song concepts together and execute them all with alarming dexterity. Medium-tempo pop hits "Alright" and "Time" contrast with the lightning rave-up of "I'd Like To Know," the schizophrenic bluster of "Sitting Up Straight" and the hard crunch of "Lenny."
In contrast with the big, righteous star mentality of Britpop's kings at the time (Oasis, Blur, Suede), Supergrass thrive on good-natured humility, showing a sense of humor with tracks like the helium-fueled "We're Not Supposed To," while kicking your ass with the raucous spunk of tracks like hit single "Caught By The Fuzz". They certainly show the influence of these modern Britpop bands, but don't waste any energy trying to be "cool". Instead, their seemingly boundless energy is thrown headlong into the songs.
Singer/guitarist Gaz Coombes' elder brother Rob sits in on keyboards on a few tracks, lending an air of wisdom to the calmly melodic epic "Sofa (Of My Lethargy)." This song, the album's penultimate track, best illustrates the band's range, as it floats through four separate modes in six-plus minutes, ranging from distant noodling to spot-on chorus riffs.
This infectious album jumpstarted a career that is blossoming into one of the most interesting in modern rock. It is certainly rare for a band so young to show such prowess, and this is one group you'll want to keep an ear on as its bright future unfolds.
Troy Carpenter, Nude As The News