WHO ARE THEY? The ’90s band who transformed from a rap-rock and nu-metal band into a pop outfit after scoring a left-field hit with Fly — much as frontman Mark McGrath evolved from a meagrely talented musician to a meagrely talented game-show host and reality-TV personality.
WHAT IS THIS? The California combo’s completely uncalled-for seventh studio disc is also their first album in a decade, and features just McGrath and guitarist Rodney Sheppard. I’m not sure if the other three MIA members deserve to be consoled or congratulated over that turn of events.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? About what you’d expect from a Sugar Ray album titled Little Yachty in the middle of 2019 — a bunch of summery pop and reggae fluff sporting song titles like Sunday Love, Perfect Mornings and Coconut Bay.
WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? Why? Or maybe Flew.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? While wearing a Hawaiian shirt and sipping a boat drink out of a coconut.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Sunny, sweet, optimistic, romantic, gentle, benign, featherweight, bland, inoffensive, insubstantial.
WHAT ARE THE WORST SONGS? That’s a tough call, but their Xeroxed cover of Rupert Holmes’ Escape (The Pina Colada Song) somehow manages to be even more unnecessary than the rest of this album.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘I don’t hear Lil Yachty on any of these songs.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? How many beach, lake and pool parties do you plan to have before Labour Day?
IF THIS ALBUM WERE PATIO FURNITURE, WHAT KIND OF PATIO FURNITURE WOULD IT BE? A hammock.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL? Don’t encourage them.