There are always a few albums that I receive that are cut by a band that had their meteoric rise and later fall to and from stardom years before I seriously got into music. Spin Doctors was the first this mouth, Super Deluxe was the second. Without saying I know anything about Super Deluxe beyond the history on the promo sheet, I would have to say that the disc’s first track “Come Down” is put from the same mid-nineties cloth that the band first got their start on. With a sound that plays off The Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now?” along with some Matthew Sweet thrown in for good measure, Super Deluxe immediately up the stakes with this first radio hit.
In much of the same vein, the downtempo stylings of “Joie De Vivre” elicits another early-nineties set of influences from Super Deluxe, taking notes off the first Foo Fighters record and moderating them to come forth with a sultry and smoother vocal-led track. Each of the songs on “Surrender!” are really constructed for massive radio play. “Upsidedown” is the first track that Super Deluxe can really unfurl their wings and come forth with something nearly all theirs (although they do throw in a hint of R.E.M. for good measure at times). “Shoot” shows Super Deluxe as influential to some of the current retro-rock bands out there; the song busts out with such an infectious melody that one can do nothing but hear hints of both Weezer and (in a much more contemporary) Tegan & Sara sense. The only thing that really shows itself as a problem during “Surrender!’s” runtime is the sheer saccharine that Super Deluxe comes with during every track.
Sure, the band tries to vary their sound at points (the inclusion of power metal-like solos for “Safe and Sorry”, but one has put take a break at a few places during “Surrender!” and just chill down. Still, Super Deluxe may just be the best pop-rock band to come out in the last ten years, and the success of this album really will give other bands an example to aspire to, instead of just falling into a Nickelback/Creed brand of schmaltz-rock. With guitar solos that would be utterly perfect for Party of Five or Beverly Hills 90210 during “She’s Got It”, the band really shows that they still have iit even in the latest stages of “Surrender!”. Worth it.
Top Tracks: She’s Got It, Come Down
Super Deluxe – Surrender! / 2005 The Control Group / 11 Tracks / http://www.superdeluxemusic.com / http://www.controlgroupco.com / Reviewed 28 November 2005