Helga's Album of the Week VII  

helga_hansen 49F  
3122 posts
9/25/2005 10:03 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Helga's Album of the Week VII

This album is one that has grown on me. I’m not the biggest of Supergrass fans, but I’ve enjoyed the odd track of theirs, over the years. This British band have been together for over 10 years now, and my all-time favourite song of theirs is Moving.

I may be a convert however, since listening to Road To Rouen, their latest album. St Petersburg is the first single off this album, and Gaz Coombes’s vocals are superbly accompanied by brother Robert Coombes on the piano. The rest of the band are Mick Quinn on bass and vocals and Danny Goffey on drums. Gaz also plays guitar for the band.

For its fifth album, Oxford's finest has delivered an adventurous sounding album that may well put the band at odds with its "Britpop" loving fan-base who still pine for the youthful exuberance of early hit singles like Caught by the Fuzz and Alright.

With a jokey title like Road to Rouen - which has to be among the worst puns ever used as an album title - one has to be forgiven for assuming that the band has reverted back to the happy-go-lucky, adolescent pop played to perfection at the height of Britpop's reign over a decade ago.

But with tasteful nods to the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, a lot of the songs on Road To Rouen have a mellow, melodic theme to them that gets better with repeated listens.

Rousing opener Tales of Endurance (Parts 4, 5 &6) boasts a long, acoustic guitar intro that blends seamlessly into a very funky groove, while melancholic lead single St Petersburg aches with the kind of melodic sumptuousness rarely heard on a Supergrass song.

Roxy with its elegant string and brass arrangements and haunting melody, is immediately accessible, while Road to Rouen and Kick in the Teeth superbly prove that the new, improved Supergrass can indeed rock with the best of them, and on this kind of stellar form, they seems light years ahead of their contemporaries.

There may not be any rabble-rousing singles to tear the roof off the local indie disco but then again, it isn't that sort of record. As a "mood" album, Road to Rouen works brilliantly. In fact, commercial suicide never sounded this wonderful. It seems that perhaps one of the most underrated band in Britain just keeps on getting better.

*** American bloggers will be pleased to know that this album is set for a North American release on Tuesday, 27th September ***

*** Please note that the picture displayed is not the current album cover, but rather the cover of The Best of 94 - 04 ***

Love, hugs and kisses from ♥♥HH♥♥

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