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POP MUSIC | RECORD RACK

*** SUPERGRASS, "In It for the Money," Capitol

May 25, 1997|Sara Scribner

Although this spunky, sprightly power trio hails from Oxford, England, the three musicians have no real desire to wax poetic about love or the meaning of life. Remember, this is the group that delivered 1995's "I Should Coco," a relatively lightweight but enthusiastic chunk of late-'60s/early-'70s-inspired pop-rock.

Despite the album's jaded title, "In It for the Money" is brimming with uncynical exuberance. The band, which plays the Troubadour on June 6, recaptures the glow of "I Should Coco," but also tosses in organs and other keyboards for a lusher sound.

Though the jumpy, Cheap Trickian chords and Who-esque drums help give the album a heard-it-all-before feel, Supergrass manages to squeeze something fresh from the dinosaur sounds. And don't expect anything low-key, low-tech or indie here: The title track swirls with horns and full-blast orchestrations, and singer-guitarist Gaz Coombes has an arena-perfect echo effect on his voice throughout, making "Cheapskate" and "Richard III" no-holds-barred power-pop treats.

Good-natured yet devilish, poppy as anything with ooh-ooh backup vocals and snappy keyboard touches, "In It for the Money" reveals that the kids have grown up, moving beyond the small world of teenage pranks to something far more satisfying.

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to four stars (excellent).

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* Excerpts from these albums and other recent releases are available on The Times' World Wide Web site. Point your browser to: http://www.latimes.com/soundclips

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