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A record store surprise is an
all-time masterpiece

In It For The Money (Capitol)


“Got up today, what a day, thanks a million,
I spent too much time wondering why I got an
– Supergrass, “Richard III”

Walking into a record store should always be an
adventure. Meticulously searching through the racks
for a lost gem or new surprise is, each and every time,
a goal of mine. Sometimes it works, sometimes it
doesn’t. Such is life. But a while back, I had one of
those discoveries.

Hmm…Supergrass …
I had heard smatterings of their catalog in the past and enjoyed it, as far as I could remember anyway. So, why
not give it a whirl? I picked up
In It For The Money, and that was the first time I had the privilege of holding this
masterpiece in my hands.

Everything about this album screams “greatness.” The tongue-in-cheek cover. The rock songs that shred stereo
speakers. The weird songs that sound like nothing else you’ve ever dreamed of hearing. The vocals. The
guitars. The bass. The drums. EVERYTHING. It all works.

There is seriously not a single misstep on this record. From start to finish, track one through 12, every single
guitar lick, lyric and experiment works beautifully. When I first got the chance to sit down and absorb it, I was
nearly giddy. What a find, I kept telling myself. What a find, I tell myself today.

The record starts out with the weird guitar scales of “In It For The Money.” After a semi-dark intro comes the most
unintentionally funny moments of any album: the droning repeated lyrics of “We’re in it for the money/we’re in it
for the money/we’re in it for the money…” This is followed by two rollicking verses washed with guitars and
horns. A total cacophony of brilliant pop in just over three minutes.

The fiercely-mad-euro-clash-brit-pop-stomp of “Richard III” is just outstanding. Keeping the punk sentimentality
of their debut, “Richard” absolutely burns through the speakers with an intensity and furiousness that comes
around FAR too rarely these days. This band is clearly not making records for the sake of making records – from
the sound of “Richard,” it’s as if it’s playing in this band is the only thing worth doing in the world. How refreshing
is that?

The happy party feel of “Tonight” starkly contrasts with the following “Late In The Day.” The stop-start vibe of “G-
Song” and the jumpiness of “Sun Hits The Sky” keeps this train moving beautifully, while “Going Out” sounds like
what Oasis had desperately tried to accomplish on their fabulously famous failure,
Be Here Now.

“It’s Not Me” is the best low-key moment on the album. Acoustic, amid this record of experimental chaos, the
song hits with a definite wallop. “Cheapskate,” the only song I could remember (due to its status as a college
radio fave back in 1997), follows, and it was better than I remembered. Much better. Was it because I had been
riding this psychedelic/punk wave for about half an hour? Who knows, and frankly, who cares. I’ve never been
one to argue with a positive result, and I wasn’t about to start now. My proverbial world was being thoroughly
rocked, and the $11.99 I had spent on the disc kept feeling like less and less with every listen of every song.

“You Can See Me” is another instant classic. This is one that would be easy to classify or describe as “Beatle-
esque,” but really, what would that be telling you? Does that term mean anything at this point? It’s a backhanded
compliment at best. I will say this, however: If you ever wondered what it would sound like if Marc Bolan and Paul
McCartney got together and had love-child through song, this would be it.

“Hollow Little Reign” is a jazzy, piano led song that benefits from the wah-wahing of a guitar in the background. It
sounds like they’re playing it with their collective elbows leaning out of a rusted-out Chevy on a summer day.

All this madness winds up with “Sometimes I Make You Sad,” a wickedly disturbing piece of oompa-loompa
brilliance. With its eerie heavy breathing and circus lyrics giving way to a bizarre Spanish guitar breakdown, there
is nothing else like it anywhere. It’s still my favorite Supergrass song.

Since that faithful day of the first listen, I’ve acquired the rest of the Supergrass cannon, and they’re all great.
Should Coco, Supergrass
and Life On Other Planets are all filled with great songs, are all instantly enjoyable and
are all must-haves. But
In It For The Money still takes the cake.

At the time Oasis, Blur, the Verve and a host of other British bands took the lion’s share of the spotlight. And
while they were all obviously talented and clearly deserving of recognition, it’s still a shame that Supergrass
were overlooked as easily as they were.

Do yourself a favor: if you don’t already own this album, run out and pick it up right now. If you already have it, pull
it out of the CD rack/pile and slap it on. Either way, it’ll be the wisest decision you make all day when it comes to
the noise you allow to invade your ear canal.

Supergrass are currently working on their fifth album, which is due out sometime this year. And, if current trends
hold true, it will probably be great.