The Press Article
Album Of The Week
This is an astonishing record, if only because Supergrass have discovered a sound so distinctive they can mine it's seams 12 songs deep without ever running out of gold. Every song sounds totally like Supergrass, the Supergrass peg slid smoothly into the Supergrass hole, snug as OJ's glove. Which means that, at first listen, this album almost sounds lazy, slightly too at ease with itself. You imagine that, since everything feels so natural and relaxed, no effort's gone in at all. Maybe none did, but it's doubtful. If genius is 99 per cent perspiration, Supergrass must be very, very sweaty muppets right now.
It starts with "Moving", the best song for sure. But only in the sense that diamonds are the best gems, or kisses are the best things you can do wih your mouth. All its grandeur-swollen, hip-grinding, heart-stopping energy appears, equally echoed, in every other song: the driven snarl of "Your Love", the barking Madness (both senses) of "What Went Wrong (In Your Head)?", the "Delilah"-ish zigzag of "Beautiful People"... and on, and on, and on.
The thing is, nothing's changed. Gaz still sounds like Thom Yorke colouring in Billy Corgan's scribbles with Kurt Cobain bleeding out the red, the music still plays honky-tonk in a bar full of underage psychopaths. But this is head, shoulders, chest, belly and pubic undercarriage ahead of their last two albums, all the overzealous randomness of "I Should Coco" and the over-anxious sharpness of "In It For The Money" replaced by something far more sophisticated, far more luscious. So, when the opening thunder of "Eon" fizzles into still-watered sadness, your heart leaps with feeling, plunges under it's ripples to taste the blue. When the ostensibly wacky, country-glam of "Jesus Came From Outta Space" rolls its wagon up to the swinging saloon doors of Pink Floyd-style dramatics, all your cynicism dissolves like two Alka Seltzers in a bucket full of tears.
But it's the closing stretch of "Mama & Papa" that really shows you how far Supergrass have come, the blustering frenzy they've always called home packed up into tiny boxes of melanchony, the line "I miss my mummy and I miss my daddy" every bit as lullaby-soft as John Lennon's "Good Night", and every bit as moving. It's a beautiful end to a strangely bewildering album, and the key to yet another frontier. Phantastic.
Robin Bresnark, Melody Maker - 18 September 1999