I once heard that Sugar Ray’s album “Floored” was the most returned album of all-time. Fact or myth, it’s not much of a stretch. The lead single off the album was a sunny reggae-tinged pop song called “Fly” and there wasn’t another song on the album like it. Anyone who bought it expecting more of “Fly” instead got a dozen alt-metal tracks with titles like “High Anxiety” and “American Pig.” Hardly beach music. Despite this, “Floored” went double-platinum and the boys in Sugar Ray wisely decided to follow-up with a record more palatable to their newfound fans.
“14:59″, a not-so-subtle nod to Andy Warhol’s expression that everyone got only 15 minutes of fame (and that their time was almost up) was released two years later. The first single, “Every Morning” may as well have been “Fly Part 2.” It, as well as follow-up singles “Someday” and “Falls Apart,” charted well and “14:59″ went triple-platinum, outselling “Floored.” Hardcore fans labeled Sugar Ray as sellouts, but their accusations were drowned out by the voices of millions of new fans.
As an album, “14:59″ abandons the metallic edge of its predecessor. (aside from tongue-in-cheek opener “New Direction” which provides 45 seconds of thrash metal before fading away, never to be seen again) Still, even with the rough parts sanded away, “14:59″ retains Sugar Ray’s spirit and sense of humour and still has plenty of hooks. They’re just delivered to a larger audience. “Falls Apart” has a big juicy chorus and “Aim For Me” gallops along at breakneck speed. “Personal Space Invader” is too silly for words. File this one under “not as bad as you’d think.”