The Reader Review
Life On Other Planets
Despite people having received a 6 track promo, I was able to get an official 12-track promo in white gatefold sleeve. The front is like published on the site, while the inside consists of a combination of collage and drawing, in the same vein as albums like 'Revolver' by the Beatles.
Though copies of the album have circled the Internet last few weeks (Not to the dissatisfaction of the band I've heard!), I can assure you the real thing sounds far better and clearer. the MP3's are seriously mutilated due to up-/downloads, broadband-compression and interferences in the connections. And copies-of-copies always lose quality!
Here's my modest opinion on 'Life On Other Planets' by Supergrass:
This track starts of with a familiair sound: it's track no 6 from 'Supergrass TV', as found on www.childrenofthemonkeybasket.com. After about 20 seconds this changes into a piano and drums-driven intro, building up to a poppy rocksong that reminds a little of Lennon's 'Mind Games', but done in collaboration with T-Rex. But yet unmistakably Supergrass! Near the end we hear a guitarsolo in the same style as Bowie's 'Heroes'.
Rush Hour Soul (2:57)
This song starts full gear without warning and has the same sound as Hendrix' 'Cross Town Trafic', with slightly slower bridges, that have the same atmosphere as Lennon's 'No 9 Dream'.. The guitar parts in the song and near the end sound as if Jimi Hendrix himself makes some heck of a noise.
Seen The Light (2:27)
After an intro of wind, rain and thunder, this song starts acoustically into a typical T-Rex-sounding song, with birds whistling and a goat passing by in the middle. The keyboards have a very specific 70s sound throughout the song.
Beacon Beacons (2:59)
The first track with Mick on vocals. After a synth-based fade-in, this midtempo rocky popsong flows around you, like for instance 'Condition' did in '95. The bridges are far more solid and remind me of the better guitardays of Pete Townshend in The Who.
Can't Get Up (4:05)
This song starts off with a riff that is almost completely taken from Vandenburg's '85 smasher 'Burning Heart'! The chords are just the same in my opinion. The song itself is a solid, though not too spectacular midtempo rocky popsong, with a taste of Southern Rock.
Evening Of The Day (5:20)
The Kinks are still an influence to the lads, judging this song. After 'Where Have All The Good Times Gone' being covered live on 'Alright' Japanese CDS, they've succeeded in hitting the right vein and write a song, which could very well have been one of Ray Davies'. This is an in basis acoustically driven song, with the likes of for example 'Dedicated Follower Of Fashion' and with the same cynical feel into it.
The second part of the song is slightly chaotic jamming, with conga's, whistles and all. Near the end, the song crossfades slowly into:
Never Done Nothing Like That Before (1:46)
The intro on the single is here incorporated into the previous song and the track itaelf sounds as being remixed: still very rocking, but a bit more smooth and polished on the guitars, while this mix seems to put a bit more accent to the vocals.
Funniest Thing (2:31)
A piano and bass-intro with feedbacking and backwards guitarnoises builds up to a midtempo rocksong in the same way as 'Mary' is.
The same version as on the single released last Monday! But what a dancefloor-smasher it is!
La Song (3:46)
An increasing organ-intro bursts into this solid rock song, that in basis reminds me of a spacey version of 'No More Heroes' by The Stranglers. The somewhat softer bridges contain harmony vocals echoeing a bit like Blur in 'Tender', while the guitars sound a bit like they did in the intro of The Primitives' classic 'Crash'. The solo-part is synth again, with backwards guitars.
Prophet 15 (4:46)
A slight spacey-mooded light popsong with clavecimbel-sounding keyboards, as used in Reggae during the 70s.
The intro is keyboards and vocals, while the song itself is a light, slow and romantically flowing song with touches of psychedelic in it's added noises and guitarsolo. Very moody.
After it fades away, that same strange melody from the start of the CD comes back, ending in an echo.
The album may not have instant impact, but, like it did with 'Supergrass', will certainly grow on you. I'm just very curious which tracks will be chosen as new singles!
From Monday on, the album will be available to everybody in a regular hardbox cover. The gatefold sleeve, originally designed to serve as a possible 'Limited Edition'-version of 'Life On Other Planets' will just become another Collectors item I presume.
Note to the promo is, that the cover and the CD printing bear Cat. LOOP 001, while the matrix number on the CD itself contains the official release-number of the CD. There's no hidden track or multi-media on the regular release.
Leo Hoek van Dijke - 18 September 2002
'Going Underground'/RTV Gouwestad