The Press Article
The cocky ebullience of '90s-era Britpop has lost its shimmer on recent discs by Oasis and Blur, replaced by introspective tunes like Tender Is the Night and Where Did It all Go Wrong. One would, however, expect the lads in Supergrass to buck the trend and keep the flame of youthful optimism burning bright.
Think again. Supergrass' third album is a decidedly mature affair, from the no-frills eponymous title down to the songs themselves.
Vocalist/guitarist Gaz Coombes and company have always flirted with influences from the likes of David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and The Kinks.
They dive right into the treasure trove of classic British rock.
The band occasionally emphasizes musical dynamics and more adventurous song structures, with mixed results. Songs such as Beautiful People, Eon and Mama & Papa are mere filler material that go nowhere slowly, while Moving, Faraway and Shotover Hill are more challenging efforts that showcase the band's evolving songwriting skills.
When the band returns to simpler material, the results are more consistent.
Mary, Jesus Came From Outta Space and the infectious single Pumping On Your Stereo feature the band's catchiest hooks to date.
Then there are the lyrics. Even a bubbly tune like Pumping On Your Stereo seems to have been written with poison pen in hand. Check the song's first verse: "Life is a cigarette/you smoke to the end/ but if you rocket the middle bit/ then you burn all your friends/ the wider your eyes/ the bigger the lies." There's some genuine venom lurking behind Coombes' Bowie-esque sneer.
Like the many of their Britpop brethren, Supergrass have entered their coming-of-age phase with a challenging album. Some will lament the lack of punkish exuberance that defined the band's first two albums, I Should Coco and In It For The Money, but Supergrass are obviously not content to merely rehash yesterday's glories.
Darrin Keane, Windsor Star - 13 April 2000