This week’s trip into my collection is Supergrass’ eponymous 1999 album. Some people call it “the X-ray” album, but I’m not a diehard fan of the band, so I’m just calling it Supergrass.
And since I just confessed to not being a huge fan of the band, I’ll explain how this got into my collection. Back in the day, when Music Television sort of actually lived up to its name, they spawned an offshoot network called M2. Where as MTV only sometimes showed videos, M2 only showed videos, there weren’t even VJs on the channel.
I was in my friends dorm room and we had M2 on when the video for Supergrass’ “Late in the Day” came on—we were completely slayed. It was a dope video that involved pogo sticks and a literal translation of the lyrics. It blew our minds. And that’s how Supergrass popped up on my radar.
Supergrass was clearly an impulse buy. I was probably flush with cash, remembered I liked the group and thought I’d give the new album a go. I’m certain that I gave it a spin once, looking for something to hook me in, but nothing happened. I know this because upon my recent listen to the album some of the songs felt vaguely familiar.
The whole album does have a cool little pop vibe to it—there’s nary a harsh sound to be found. But the album does have some dark moments. “Mary”, my favorite track, has a murky ’70s feel to it. On the other end of the spectrum, “Pumping on Your Stereo” is a bright and sunny affair, which is why its Muppet-esque video works so well.
The album closes with the somber “Mama & Papa”. It’s a quiet, stripped-down track that ends the album on a downer, but in a good way. None of the other tracks stand out that much, but it’s a nice background album for a lazy afternoon.