Sugar Ray

Music For Cougars

Written by: PP on 25/12/2009 06:17:16

Yeah, remember these guys from the 90s? The guys who put out the song of 1997, the reggae-rock megahit "Fly", which dominated the number one position on charts for weeks, before getting dropped by their label 9 years later after numerous miserable attempts at breaking their one-hit-wonder reputation? Well they're back together, and to my great dismay, have put out a new album.... what's this, album number six now and still no success? You'd think some people would take the hint, but no. But before we slice this piece of shit into pieces, I'll have to put this band into context for some of our younger readers. So yeah, "The Fly" is pretty much the only good song these guys ever released. Okay, to be fair, "Someday" and "Every Morning" charted reasonably high as well, but calling Sugar Ray a three-hit-wonder is perfectly in order. In fact, arguing against that statement just makes you look stupid. They were dropped by Atlantic Records back in 2006 because they just couldn't repeat the single that brought the label millions and billions of dollars despite years of trying. And you know what the unofficial rumours say? That these guys broke up straight after because they thought they weren't making enough money. Yeah, their attitude to music is absolutely despicable. But you haven't heard the worst yet, that's still to come in this review of "Music For Cougars" it for cougars because nobody else cares? Quite possible.

Summery reggae-rock track "Girls Were Made To Love" opens the album as a surprisingly good beach rock cut, bringing to mind some of 311's mellow stuff. Actually, even track two, "Boardwalk", is acceptable, if somewhat unambitious. But afterward, shit hits the fan and pure filler is shoved to our face by the boatload. Nobody likes to have shit on their face, especially not in those amounts, unless you're from Japan I guess (seriously, Japanese porn is fucked up). Apparently the "band" and their label disagree. Lets start with the first disgrace of a song, "She's Got The (Woo-Hoo)". A cancerous RnB mood is introduced together with some funky samples and a drum beat that a three year old could play. Once we reach the chorus that redefines predictable in the dictionary, you realize that there's just no way Sugar Ray actually wrote this song. It has every fingerprint of a guy like Max Martin, the dude that wrote about 90% of all pop hits you heard in the radio a decade ago by various different "artists", including those by Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, Pink and many others. Even if he didn't, it sure as hell sounds like he or any other major label hit writer did...and from what I can see, Pulse Recordings employs at least a couple of hit writers on their payroll. The worst part is that the band doesn't even seem to care if the songs are catered to them on a gold plate like this. The feeling throughout the record is that the guys want to make as much money as quickly as possible, and perhaps slide into a few girls' pants in the process if at all possible. Every trick in the mainstream record industry sleeve has been thrown out in the open here, ranging from bringing semi-known female vocalists to guest on a chorus or two and the boring and supremely bland pop rock tracks written after a formula, through randomly slapped on RnB elements, and of course, lots of bland songs titled after the one line in the chorus that's repeated to ad nauseum. Not to even mention the songs about 'women' with 'subtle' sexual references. Everything about this album stinks of $$$ in every way possible, and quite frankly I'm appalled that an independent label is putting out something that you could expect from Sony BMG.

But to their credit, couple of the tracks are quite catchy. They just make me feel like I've been violated by a dog while hiding in a bush for whatever reason. So did the world actually need another Sugar Ray record? Nope, probably not. Based on some of the interviews with the band, however, it seems that they realize it as well (to some extent), so kudos for realizing your own unnecessity, I guess. Bands like Sugar Ray are a prime example of why the music industry is dying. "Music For Cougars" a desperate attempt to sell mass produced crap to the public, demonstrating the industry's inability to grasp the modern times. Oh how I wish this was on a major label so that argument would hold more truth to it. Still, regardless of label size, people can't be force fed crap anymore because a little thing called internet exists nowadays. Shit's just not gonna fly--haha, get it?


Download: Girls Were Made To Love
For the fans of: Smash Mouth, OPM, 311
Listen: Myspace

Release date 21.07.2009
Pulse Recordings

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