Supergrass - I Should Coco - Review
← 795 album.png 797 →

critics' view

While the latter-day adventures of Britpop bastions Supergrass have seen appearances at the wrong end of the chart, gory accidents and unfavourable tabloid coverage, 1995 debut I Should Coco has left a deeper and longer-lasting footprint than the band’s legacy overall.

Displaying a shoulder-shrugging joie de vivre normally reserved for that heavenly day when the student loan cheque hits the hall carpet, this guise of Supergrass truly channels the same playfulness peddled so successfully by Madness the previous decade. Yet sadly, this retrospective examination also serves to highlight that few bands even come close to adopting that same energy today. The Kooks and The View may play up to such carefree, youthful ideals, but in the wake of the edge carried by I Should Coco, they sound clumsy, contrived and oafish.

While Alright may have been the initial leg-up required to inaugurate the reign of Supergrass, the downside comes from its notoriety as the definitive Supergrass anthem. A deserving tag, certainly, but later treasures such as Moving, Late in the Day and Pumping On Your Stereo remain in its shadow as a result.

However, within the arena of I Should Coco, it functions exceptionally well. Its recognisable blend of cordial and crazy sits comfortably as part of a mezze of eccentric oddities. A hugely diverse collection, its charms lie in its unpredictability, with the only consistent factor being the high level of quality.

We’re Not Supposed To, which could have been lifted straight from the soundtrack of Labyrinth, sits effectively alongside the bluesy flow displayed in Sofa of My Lethargy. Even individual tracks illustrate the diversity of I Should Coco within themselves, with Strange Ones flitting between, trudging along irately and with high-octane dynamism.

Given that I Should Coco was born during the Britpop sovereignty - a time when harmonious, indie-lite high spirits owned the charts - it understandably became part of the overall movement. No bad thing to be allied with, by any means, even if it did eclipse the content slightly as a result. But hindsight is a marvellous thing, and Supergrass carry even more weight outside of the bubble, underlining that I Should Coco stands up on its own as an iconic 90s masterpiece.

Al Fox
BBC external-link.png

The BBC's album reviews ended in 2013, although the pages are archived for retrospective reading. external-link.png

Care to share?

(if so, thanks!)

© The Jukebox Rebel 2005-2020. All rights reserved. Third-party trademarks and content are the property of their respective owners, and subject to their own copyright terms and conditions. See the website links provided in each case.