Every couple of years – hell, sometimes more than once a year – a new British band comes along that sounds like many previous British bands, but just different enough to sound “new” to enough people, and the British music press and some of their public lose their fucking minds over them. The band makes barely a dent in the world outside of the UK but becomes an institution there, leaving the rest of us to wonder what’s happening. Supergrass is just one of these innumerable bands. (The most recent one I can think of is The Arctic Monkeys, which dates me just a titch.)
I want to ask British people: 25 years later, is this still a masterpiece? Really? I mean, it never was. But how do British people now feel about sending this perfectly fine power pop record to #1, nominating it for the Mercury and the press giving it nearly unanimous acclaim?
Supergrass sound like many other UK bands we’d now describe as power pop or britpop. But they have a lot of a attitude and that attitude is, um, different than the attitude of every other British band like this! I swear!
They write very catchy songs. Their lyrics definitely feel like they were written by young people, which means the music is fresh.
They play these songs with (mostly) a lot of energy. Much more energy than some of the big brit pop bands who were dominating the mainstream charts of the day. So that’s exciting! Right?
Only in the UK could an album this fine – and so ensconced the UK rock tradition – get turned into a masterpiece and massive hit.
That being said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. As power pop albums go, it’s better than most. It has more of an edge than most, certainly. There’s nothing coy about it. But the idea that it is one of the best albums of 1995 is preposterous, and about the most British thing I’ll hear all week.
7/10 because it really is a pretty good record despite the preposterous hype.