Since they had a lower profile than their peers and came across as a bunch of mates instead of serious musicians, Supergrass tended to be the most overlooked of all the major Britpop bands. They never defined the culture like Oasis or Blur, never had a following of serious-minded, clever misfits like Pulp, they weren't as sexy as Elastica, and they surely lacked the grandiose, doomed romanticism of Suede. What they were, though, was a bloody brilliant pop band. Their 1995 debut, I Should Coco, kicked harder than any record that year, and it had a bigger stylistic sprawl than any album this side of The Great Escape, which it trumped with a deliriously infectious enthusiasm -- and it was all the more impressive when the fact that Gaz Coombes and Danny Goffey were still in their teens when the cut the album. They matured at a rapid rate, refining their musicality with each of their next three records, but they never had center stage again like they did with I Should Coco. As they worked outside of the spotlight, they developed into a remarkably consistent singles band, as the generous 24-track 2004 collection Supergrass Is 10: The Best of 94-04 proves. Even their muddled eponymous third album sounds brilliant when distilled to the sweetly gorgeous "Moving" and the ridiculously intoxicating "Pumping on Your Stereo." These tunes are thrown together in a nonchronological order that contains all the A-sides apart from the U.S. radio single "Cheapskate" and the movie soundtrack selection "We Still Need More (Than Anyone Can Give)." Instead of being infuriating, this nonchronological sequencing reveals just how consistent Supergrass had been over the decade, since it forces the listener to concentrate on each individual song. Like Green Day's hits compilation International Superhits!, Supergrass Is 10 is a revelation for anybody who hasn't been paying attention, since it showcases a band that is one of best, most satisfying guitar pop groups of the last 15 years. If you haven't checked them out before, you need to get this immediately.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine