Supergrass — Self-titled

By Chris Simmons

The band is brought into the Roman Coliseum. The crowd chants for blood or glory, the emperor rises to pronounce judgement. To the lions or freedom?

His thumb wavers, he cannot decide. So it is with the new self-titled album from Supergrass. The lyrics–not so cheesy as to offend, not so profound as to move–might leave you staring at the CD thinking, "I don’t know if it’s you, I don’t know if it’s me, but one of us has to go." Is it possible for a CD to be not good, not bad, but just okay? It’s Brit Pop and they stay on the usual musical battlefield, armed with one hook that separates them from the crowd. For Supergrass, the hook is Gaz Coombes’ distinctive voice. But it’s not all okay; at times Supergrass approaches (but doesn’t reach) the lofty heights of Radiohead. That’s when they aren’t afraid to throw in some different instrumentation and abandon the really simple monotone focus that makes pop music pop music.

If only they could stay there, but they don’t, and we are back to 14-year-old candy songs, million album sales and the world of just okay.

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