10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Different Slant, Same Quality and Craft,
This review is from: Road To Rouen (Audio CD)
You can never judge an album from one listen, and I purposefully wanted to give 'Road to Rouen' that little longer to exact its influence given all the advanced comments about it being Supergrass 'in different packaging'. First and foremost, this is a wonderfully executed album, its melody simply roars out from the first chord and finishes tenderly with the excellent 'Fin'.
Its certainly not what we have come to expect from the 'Grass' but then, is that necessarily a bad thing? 'Don't Believe the Truth' is a vast improvement on recent fayre for Oasis, but it still seems to be pleading for the quality of yesteryear and 'Definitely Maybe'. The same can be said for X&Y, which plays far too safe in the light of 'Rush of Blood to the Head'. This is where the four lads from Oxford gain real credit. They are not afraid to break the mould even if it is to the cost of Parlophone's pockets. They have arguably written some of their deepest and best stuff in recent years 'Eon' and 'Evening of the Day' to name but two, and have gone largely unheralded. They are paying for simply having lasted the pace for a decade, which is no longer acceptable in these modern times where NME are as quick to forget you once your third album sales have levelled off.
This album has balance, creativity, poignancy and a remarkable freshness and the fact it only just scrapes past 30 minutes is an irrelevance in my opinion. If you have nine tracks as wonderfully crafted as this why try to strangle the album and upset the flow. After all, its only with the demise of vinyl that we have become accustomed to albums touching an hour. 'Roxy' is the standout track, but 'Tales of Endurance' and 'Road to Rouen' itself run it close.
Sadly, it is almost an inevitability that this album will not have the commercial impact of 'I Should Coco' or 'In It for the Money'. Nor will it score well with fans of the earlier Supergrass material. However, sounding like a blend of Thin Lizzy, The Beatles and Floyd this album doesn't need mass approval. It simply demands it every time you are lucky enough to partake in its 35 minute journey.