Moments into the first track 'Za' the funky piano beat and killer guitar licks...
Dan Tallis 2002
Life On Other Planets is the fourth album from Supergrass and it's quite possibly their best yet. It is certainly a return to form after their disappointing self titled 1999 album. Moments into the first track "Za" the funky piano beat and killer guitar licks announce the return of good time power-pop Supergrass! Immediately you're hooked.
I defy anyone not to smile and tap their foot along to these happy go lucky tunes. By track 4 you'll be positively smitten by their sheer audacity of managing to include the song title "Brecon Beacons" seamlessly into the lyrics. This is surely hit single material with its sci-fi guitar noises and catchy chorus. The lyrics here make bizarre reference to Welsh witches; "It's retribution from the supernatural, you better watch out 'cause they're coming to get you!"
The fun continues with the breezy "Can't Get Up", the raucous Parklife sounding "Never Done Nothing Like That Before" and the fantastic single "Grace". Great, cheery pop songs that were designed with a single aim; to get your body moving. A welcome reminder that indie rock can be cool and witty; it doesn't always have to take itself too seriously. On their previous album the band seemed to ditch the pop songs and become more mature. But on Life On Other Planets they've thankfully managed to mix their mature, intelligent songwriting skills with the pure pop songs that hark back to the heady days of I Should Coco. Despite the main chorus of "Grace" being "save your money for the children" Dad Rock this ain't. Eight years in the business and they sound as fresh as daisies.
Suddenly the album takes a change of direction, which explains the album's title. "Prophet 15" and "Run", the last two songs on the album, sound like the band have entered a space ship and are circling the earth from a great distance. "I'm lost in a cloud and I can't get out, floating away, I can't fly..." echoes lead singer Coombes from far, far away. Supergrass somehow combine David Bowie's space oddity era with Paul McCartney's Wings to wonderful effect and just as you become absorbed into their dream-like state the band slowly disappear into the ether...
Good old Supergrass. They're as endearing and enduring as their sideburns.
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