The Press Article
Supergrass' self-titled third album begins forlornly with singer Gaz Coombes' bittersweet musing on displacement and wanderlust. Like their song "Late in the Day" before it, "Morning" is one of those acoustic ditties Supergrass excels at when not pillaging and plundering traditional British pop, as they did on their debut, I Should Coco. But that was five years ago, and Supergrass' locomotive rooster tunes and Three Stooges-like combustible energy has given way to mid-paced rockers and Supertramp sound-a-likes.
Is Supergrass losing the plot? No one could expect them to maintain the manic glory of songs like "Caught by the Fuzz," but neither did we expect them to turn into Britain's best oompah band. Supergrass is still way more listenable and has weathered the years far better than Oasis, whose obvious lack of a thesaurus and two-melody vocabulary has worn exceedingly thin. By contrast, Supergrass has simply gone bonkers. Noel Gallagher proudly claims that Standing on the Shoulder Of Giants is his first ever sober album, but Supergrass continues to smoke and toke in their recording sessions, resulting in glorious gobbledygook like "Beautiful People," "Pumping on Your Stereo," and the cello destruction and psychedelic whimsy of "Born Again." Displaying some unusual religious tendencies in "Jesus Came from Outer Space" and "Mary," which both seem to allude to a crisis of faith in their coming middle ages, Supergrass nonetheless continues to create songs that stick to your skull like peanut butter.
"Morning"'s plangent guitar strum gives way to a galloping groove and a swelling, gleeful chorus. "Faraway" grinds the meat of self-doubt with a pensive melody in an ominous, tom-tom pounding frenzy that mirrors, both lyrically and melodically, Supertramp's "Logical Song." The album closes as it begins, with the morose acoustic oddity, "Mama & Papa."
At this rate, Supergrass has two choices: go all-acoustic as a kind of mad Odgens Gone Nut Flake tribute band, or keep chugging the organ-heavy oompah thing with their exceedingly bizarre wordplay at full tilt. Either way, Supergrass' legacy as Britain's regal princes of comedic pogo pop remains secure.
MTV (US) - April 2000