Well, well, Sugar Ray has cleaned up, donned designer labels, discarded the ska pretensions, and started having fun. So are their fifteen minutes of fame, started after the success of Fly, up? I have no idea, really, but I do know 14:59 (Andy Warhol would be pleased) is a decent album. Not earth shattering, but decent.
Like most Sugar Ray albums I’ve heard, 14:59 has a few good songs and everything else is just filler. The key anchor here is the solid Falls Apart, with great rocking guitar riffs banging hard against Mark McGrath’s steady vocals in an amazing duel of sounds. A song about a relationship drifting apart, it is the buried gem of this album.
Every Morning, a cash-in clone of Fly is a decent song, while Someday gets more irritating with each replay. Their cover of Steve Miller’s Abracadabra is cheeky but somewhat ineffective, but their Ode to the Lonely Hearted makes up for it.
Sugar Ray wants to have fun, and it shows: nowhere is more indicative of their tongue-and-cheek attitude than in New Direction, an almost two minutes of nothing but carnival music that may put ska purists into apoplexy.
Apart from Falls Apart, which is wonderful, everything else is listenable, decent, but unfortunately light and fluffy enough to be totally forgettable when the party is over.