Little Yachty

Sugar Ray

BMG, 2019

http://markmcgrath.com

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/13/2019

For the first time in a decade, Sugar Ray have a brand new album! Words I never thought I would find myself typing… and man alive, is this thing terrible.

After the less than amicable departures of much of their classic lineup, the band now consists of Mark McGrath, guitarist Rodney Sheppard and drummer Dean Butterworth (Good Charlotte). Like many people, I liked the band back in the ’90s, but I was not prepared for the excrement that can be found on this record. I don’t know what the hell anyone was expecting from Sugar Ray in 2019, but this is without a doubt the worst record of the year.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Highest Tree” is a ukulele-driven pop song destined to be played on beaches and nothing else, even though they’re still using programmed beats. “Coconut Bay” is an embarrassing romp through Buffett territory; these guys were always better than this, but you would never know it from this disc. It seems as though the band have thrown in the proverbial towel and gone to the lowest common denominator with this stab at “yacht rock.” “Good Good Lovin’” is a decent enough pop song, but that’s as much as you’re going to hear on this record; nothing like “Mean Machine” or even “Falls Apart.”

“Sunday Love” is another reasonable enough pop song, but you will find yourself hitting skip constantly on this disc. In 201 it may feel like we need a song like “What the World Needs.” but we definitely don’t need to hear it from Sugar Ray. These guys now sound like they’ve been in a beach tequila haze that’s been going on for a decade. The album’s absolute nadir is a cover of that timeless ol’ chestnut “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” during which I had to keep checking to make sure my ears weren’t bleeding from the garbage coming out of my speakers.

The intro to “California Gold” reminds me of “What a Fool Believes” by the Doobie Brothers, leading to the obvious question: what the hell happened to this band?! Where’s the band that did “Every Morning,” “Falls Apart” and my personal favorite “When It’s Over”? It seems like Sugar Ray only made a new record because being on Celebrity Big Brother gave McGrath the ‘inspiration’ to get back in the studio.

Like Everclear and Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray have been continually touring their ’90s hits for years while occasionally making new music. At this point I think it’s best if they just keep touring state fairs and never go back in the studio again.

Rating: F

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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