Life on Other Planets
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Fourth album by the Oxford-formed indie act who shot to fame in the UK in 1995 with their no.2 single, 'Alright'. Life On Other Planets was produced by Tony Hoffer who has worked with Air & Beck, & was recorded in Sussex & Wales. It includes the singles, 'Grace' & 'Never Done Nothing Like That Before'. EMI. 2002.
Life on Other Planets is proof positive that you just never know what a band has in them. While the notoriously blunted Supergrass have always produced vividly screaming pop, their songs never followed an arc, instead flashing their moments of knuckleheaded brilliance before shuffling off in another direction. While Life on Other Planets, their fourth disc, has the goofball hallmarks--random coughs, braying animals, and mashed potato references, to name three--the songs go somewhere, and they yank us along with them. From the galloping chorus in "Grace," to the rickety handheld percussion and soft phrasings of "Evening of the Day," and the zippy distorted guitar lead in "Rush Hour Soul," Supergrass offers complete pop pictures with enormous detail and lots of instrumental extras. And the songs really rock. Plus it's hard not to be staggered by a group that cagily writes about offbeat topics like expired witches ("Brecon Beacons") and life among the dead ("Prophet 15") while remembering to make those bridges and choruses soar. Far better than expected. --Kim Hughes
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My favorites here: the first 3 songs. (Not one of them even 3 minutes long.) I too sense a Marc Bolan (TRex) influence, particular at moments in the 3rd track.
BTW, two lesser-known Supergrass CDs I highly recommend: IIFTM's 9-Track Bonus Disc and Pumpin' On Your Stereo CD-single have some great songs. It's a real testament to this group that they almost 'throw away' such creative stuff.
Their melodies are more complex than they've ever been given credit for. They are beautiful. Their song structuring is second to none. Supergrass are, in short, unquestionably talented and masters at what they do, which is create utterly stunning pop tunes.
This album is pure Supergrass through and through. A shiver ran down my spine when I heard the first track, "Za". Supergrass are back, finally! We need Supergrass. Forget The Hives, forget The White Stripes. Do yourself a favor and never listen to anything other than Supergrass ever again. You'll thank me for it. They *are* rock 'n' roll, and "Life On Other Planets" proves it.
Supergrass, how I've missed you.
"Prophet 15" and "Run" are all that keeps me from smashing this thing over my head and into one hundred bits. Run is a top 15 Supergrass song but low on that list. Prophet 15 would have made a nice b-side surprise. Something is rotten here.
I saw it coming when the last album was dominated by weak material but I did not want to believe that it could happen.
The last album has some gems though that more than save it and seperated Supergrass as one of the true musical leaders of this pale generation.
Why could this not have continued?
Let down. Who is next to fall?