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Supergrass

Road to Rouen

Disappointment, anger and the evocation of the 
lounge, courtesy of Supergrass.
Disappointment, anger and the evocation of the lounge, courtesy of Supergrass.
Once an irresistibly goofy Britpop trio with ungainly muttonchop sideburns, the guys in Supergrass have reached a point of maturity where they finally seem more interested in studying the menu than in making goo-goo eyes at the waitress. On their fifth full-length, Oxford's retro-groovers have outgrown monosyllabic teen anthems to embrace the emotional complexities of ensuing middle age: disappointment, anger and cool resolve. Prog-baiting opener "Tales of Endurance (Parts 4, 5 & 6)" eases from a lone acoustic ballad into a full-blown symphony of swirling organs and brass-accented pageantry, complete with all the king's horses and men. Equally evocative, "St. Petersburg," the album's unlikely loungecore single, employs a string quartet straight out of a James Bond soundtrack. The heart of the album, "Roxy," pays tribute to front man Gaz Coombe's late mother (along with Magical Mystery Tour-era Beatles), signifying a welcome change in direction for a band that's not only older and wiser, but a hell of a lot more compelling because of it.
 
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