Road To Rouen





Looking back to the glory days of Britpop, Supergrass made their mark with such classics as "Caught By The Fuzz" and "Alright". Fast forward a decade and look at which bands from that era are still around. Very few survived, and those that did (with a few exceptions) have run out of steam. Then there is Supergrass. Set to release their fifth album on September 27th, Gaz Coombes, Mick Quinn, Danny Goffey and Rob Coombes have just now embarked on a whole new musical journey. In fact, the Supergrass of 2005 is hardly recognizable when compared to their debut album I Should Coco. Still filled with catchy melodies and brilliant harmonies, their songs have matured to a level that will shock even their most die-hard fans (myself included). Rather than an album filled with infectious singles, Road To Rouen shows the group stretching their legs musically with lush arrangements overflowing with orchestral splendor. The new album takes us on a voyage of musical experimentation for the band, similar in many ways to the Beatles' Abbey Road does with its brass and string sections, abrupt tempo and stylistic shifts and cinematic songwriting. Strings on a Supergrass album? Damn right! The album begins with "Tales Of Endurance (Parts 4, 5 & 6), which starts off with acoustic guitars, piano and a brass section. As the track goes through the three different sections, Supergrass shows off their tight musicianship that has so often been pushed aside for the sake of a three-minute pop song. Gaz's vocals shine on "St. Petersburg", which float over a rolling piano line and some of the best string arrangements you will ever hear on a pop record. The album continues on with a few more mellow, string-soaked gems until the band gets an itching for a little rock & roll. On the title track, the Supergrass we know and love reappears for some upbeat pop goodness in the vein of "Kiss Of Life." Gaz & Co. are still filled with catchy-as-hell guitar riffs, which continues on to "Kick In The Teeth". Road To Rouen shows a band that is still growing, even after over a decade of releasing consistently great pop records. If this is a taste of the new direction for Supergrass, the band could easily have their best years still ahead of them.

Supergrass
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Road To Rouen