years on from the success of 2001's million-selling
eponymous Sugar Ray, the boys from Newport Beach are
back with a new album, "In The Pursuit of Leisure"
on Atlantic, released June 3rd. On the CD they cover
Joe Jackson's classic "Is She Really Going Out
With Him" and it's in the radio.wazee Spotlight
this week. Hailing from Orange County, California,
Sugar Ray's first album "Lemonade & Brownies"
was lukewarmly received by critics and audiences alike.
Their sophomore effort, though, catapulted them to
stardom with the smash hit "Fly." With its
winning, up-beat tempo and singer Mark McGrath's infectious
and enthusiastic singing, the song was quickly on
the lips of every adult-alternative fan across the
nation, and the rest is history. Pop and proud of
it, the SoCal rockers Sugar Ray are back in stores
with their fifth album of sunshine-infused, party-friendly
music. The album also marks the return of long-time
collaborator David Kahne, who helped craft past hits
"Fly," "Every Morning," and "When
It's Over." "On the last record we wanted
to exorcise our rock 'n' roll demons," singer
Mark McGrath explains. "This time we were interested
in mixing things up a bit more. We knew that [Kahne]
would be up for going out on a limb with us. He's
always got new production techniques he wants to try
out; he's always interested in trying new things."
Sugar Ray led off with the clubby "Mr. Bartender
(It's So Easy)," currently on the Top 30 on the
Billboard Adult Top 40 charts. With "Is She Really
Going Out With Him" they're leaning back toward
the classics, but putting a distinctly Sugar Ray twist
on a song that originally appeared on Joe Jackson's
1979 classic album "Look Sharp." "David
[Kahne]'s not interested in redoing," McGrath
explained. "He's interested in updating the song
and not making it better than the original, necessarily,
but hopefully you can add an element as interesting.
At the core, it's still the song. Joe Jackson has
a really distinctive voice. It's not necessarily Pavarotti-esque,
but it's right up my alley and it just fit really
nice. It was a fun song to do." Recorded in just
a week and a half, Jackson's "Look Sharp!"
was highlighted by "Is She Really Going Out With
Him?," which peaked in the Billboard Top 25.
Decades later the song also appeared on the soundtrack
to gross-out comedy "There's Something About
Mary" (Cameron Diaz, Ben Stiller, Matt Dillon),
and was also covered by rockers Goldfinger on 1999's
"Darrin's Coconut Ass." Long considered
a pop classic, "Is She Really Going Out With
Him" has also become a popular song with the
college a cappella set, covered by notable groups
ranging from Cornell's Cayuga's Waiters to The College
of William and Mary's Gentlemen of the College. Sugar
Ray have been on a U.S. tour since late April with
label-mates matchbox twenty, which wraps up shortly
in Virginia Beach, Virginia July 6th.