In It For the Money (Capitol)
by Nik Rainey
At this point in the proceedings, I’d like to present the court with irrefutable evidence that should prove beyond the valley of the shadow of a doubt (Objection. Counsel is being unnecessarily clever again. … Sustained. Counsel is advised to get to the point.) that pop music is the willing and repeated victim of its own accelerated development and may justly be tried as an adult art form. If the court will turn to Exhibit A, the latest release from Supergrass, whose title, In It For The Money (Capitol), and sleeve art should serve as evidence that these young Limey fruits (Objection. I believe the proper legal term is “snaggletoothed Brit fops.” … Overruled. Either term is acceptable. You may continue.) have been spending an inordinate amount of time listening to dusty late-sixties vinyl and all but ignoring their Buzzcocks and Adverts LPs. This same trio was first brought to the court’s attention two years ago with I Should Coco, premeditatedly and with maladjustment aforethought ganging up on the supine body of late-’70’s poppunk, repeatedly bashing new life into it, and in many cases, going well over the tempo limit. They received an acquittal because it was their first offense, they put what they stole to good use in the community, and our understaffed cultural police were too busy trying to indict Oasis for crimes against propriety, good taste, and the Lennon/McCartney songbook. I regret to add that said scofflaws remain at large.
The court must admit that Supergrass, like all good criminals, were crafty enough not to return to the scene of their original crime, but the mitigating factors that allowed them to escape scot-free the first time are absent from their second contravention (Objection. Counsel is using another thesaurian critics’ term. … I’ll overrule it, but I warn you, counsel, if I hear the word “eponymous” in this courtroom I’ll throw the Book of Rock Lists at you. Proceed.). Consider the first song on the album, the title track, which uses such shopworn sophomore-release tricks as a horn section, lyrics which allude to record-business pitfalls, and, most egregious of all, a sudden cut at the end instead of a proper fade. This, as you know, is highly dangerous territory. When ABC pulled such a stunt on their second album, we knew they were crying out for help (Objection. Counsel’s just embarrassing himself now. … Sustained. Watch the dorky references.). And from there, the violations pile up. Strings, acoustic guitars, and even attempts at odd arrangements that sound like they’ve been influenced by Steely Dan or someone (GASP!!! … Order! Order! That was disturbing, but I will not tolerate any more outbursts in my courtroom. Continue.). In summation, ladies and gentlemen of the jukebox jury, I believe the plaintiffs are not beyond rehabilitation. In truth, they appear to have tempered some of their more pretentious tendencies, such as writing songs with titles like “Sofa (of My Lethargy),” for which they should be granted some leniency. I recommend they be sentenced to one thousand hours of Teardrop Explodes Peel Sessions and have their Kaleidoscope albums confiscated for their own good, lest they become hardened and stale before their time. We don’t want another Sting on our hands (That’s it! I warned you, counsel! Clear the courtroom! CLEAR THE…)