Sugar Ray - In the Pursuit of Leisure

Sugar Ray - In the Pursuit of Leisure
Artist: Sugar Ray
Duration: 41:10
Album: In the Pursuit of Leisure
Genre: Pop\Rock
Styles: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Recording Location: Henson Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA
Release Date: June 3, 2003

Do you want proof that Sugar Ray are smarter, or at least savvier, than they seem? They not only abandoned funk-metal the second they had a hit with the breezy "Fly," they ran with their newfound success, turning into the sunny, good-time summertime band that American pop radio desperately needed in the bleak, self-absorbed aftermath of grunge. Thing was, they were much better as a pop band than a rock band; although they could occasionally hit a rocker out of the park, as they did on the punky power pop of "Answer the Phone," they felt more comfortable when they laid back and let the hooks speak for themselves, something they felt increasingly comfortable doing with each successive album, culminating in their first-rate 2001 eponymous record. That was a clean, straightforward pop album, working within the mainstream tradition and sounding surprisingly timeless in many ways. Its 2003 successor continues in the pop vein, but it tries to be a more contemporary version of that album, overloaded with modern drum beats and loops and processed guitars. Often, this is merely window-dressing on a good pop song, but sometimes it overwhelms the track if there are no hooks there -- as it does, ironically, on the album's first single, "Mr. Bartender (It's So Easy)." So, it's not as consistent as Sugar Ray, stumbling on occasion, but it does deliver some great guilty pleasures -- the opening "Chasin' You Around"; the sweet "Heaven"; the rocker "In Through the Doggie Door," which redeems its title; the excellent cover of "Is She Really Going Out With Him?," where vocalist Mark McGrath precisely mimics the tone, timbre, and phrasing of Joe Jackson; and, finally, "Blues From a Gun," where they appropriate a Jesus & Mary Chain title and come up with a song that's pretty much the polar opposite of the Mary Chain. It all adds up to another winning record by a band who has proven to be far more resilient than anybody could have guessed when "Fly" flew to the top of the charts in 1997.

Title/ComposerPerformerTime
Chasin' You Around / David Kahne / Murphy Karges / Mark McGrath / Rodney SheppardSugar Ray3:38
Is She Really Going Out With Him? / Joe JacksonSugar Ray3:48
Heaven / Steve Fox / Stan Frazier / David Kahne / Mark McGrathSugar Ray4:26
Bring Me the Head of... / Matty Baratto / Sugar RaySugar Ray0:42
Mr. Bartender (It's So Easy) / David Kahne / Sugar RaySugar Ray3:30
Can't Start / Stan Frazier / David Kahne / Mark McGrath / Rodney SheppardSugar Ray3:42
Photograph of You / Stan Frazier / David Kahne / Murphy Karges / Mark McGrath / Rodney SheppardSugar Ray3:48
56 Hope Road / David Kahne / Mark McGrath / Shaggy / Rodney SheppardSugar Ray3:51
Whatever We Are / Stan Frazier / David Kahne / Murphy Karges / Rodney SheppardSugar Ray3:41
She's Different / Stan Frazier / David Kahne / Mark McGrath / Rodney SheppardSugar Ray3:30
In Through the Doggie Door / David Kahne / Murphy Karges / Mark McGrath / Rodney SheppardSugar Ray3:09
Blues from a Gun / Stan Frazier / David Kahne / Murphy Karges / Mark McGrath / Rodney SheppardSugar Ray3:25

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