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Super Furry Animals - Radiator CD (album) cover

RADIATOR

Super Furry Animals

 

Prog Related

3.45 | 11 ratings

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frenchie
Prog Reviewer
5 stars "Radiator" is one of the best albums I have ever heard. Super Furry Animals expanded their sound a lot in just one year since their debut. This album is full of much thicker, lengthy tunes with more slow compositions. "Radiator" really brings out their first real proggy feel and is quite an epic album which has so much to offer.

The album builds up with a slow, gloomy piano intro. That leads into quite a psychadelic blasting, "The Placid Casual". This track has brilliant basslines, vocal effects and the keyboards and guitar really build up a spacey, freaky sound. This already displays much more expansive songwriting than the debut. The album is still able to display some more poppier, rockin' moments with tracks like "The International Language of Screaming" and "Chupacabras", which display some acid pop tones.

"Demons" is a slow, acoustic ballad like track that tags along after "...Screaming" perfectly. This track definetly shows off some of their amazing use of instruments. "Radiator" is the first album to introduce their instrumental interludes which pop up on just about every album after this one. "Short Painkiller" is a trippy brief sonic whizzing sounds that add to the spacey feel of the album.

"She's Got Spies" stands out as being a battle between the bands slow and gloomy moments, that flows into some psychadelic fuzzy guitar work and wrestles back and forth between these two sides of their songwriting. "Play it Cool" and "Hermann Loves Pauline" are the centrepieces of the album and both singles. This shows off both art rock appeal and pop appeal.

Another new thing introduced into this album that will pop up on most of their other albums (especially 2000's "Mwng") is Welsh only tracks. Many of the bands b-sides and album tracks are written entirely in Welsh in order to show off their home language and to confuse the listeners. "Torra Fy Ngwallt Ny Hir" is a loveable blast of uncertainty. "Bass Tuned to DEAD" quite literally uses a bass tuned to DEAD and is a good track that helps build up to the albums 3 amazing closing tracks.

"Down a Different River" shows off some of the bands best songwriting skills. They go all out here to create growing sounds and is quite an epic tune compared to the rest of the album. This track goes from slow quiet acoustic and effects to full blown vocal and musicianship work. "Download" is a personal favourite because the lyrics are touching, honest and clever (probably their least humourous track). The simplicity of this track astounds me as it works so well yet it is basically just piano and vocals. Gruff and the backing vocals really shine here to make quite an emotional track. This short and simple song helps lead into the amazing album closer. There is some great experimental sounds that remind me of "One of These Days" by Pink Floyd towards the close of the track, there is also a kind of heart beat style bass which makes "Download" one of the standout tracks on the album.

"Mountain People" is a great album closer. Gruff Rhys describes it as a country song played at 800BPM. This track also introduces one of the bands key ingredients which is ending a track with an epic array of techno/rave style sounds! However silly it sounds, it works really well and is revisited on more albums to come.

"Radiator" is a masterpiece in my eyes. It is amazing to see how much one bands songwriting can evolve in just one year. This is quite a definitive record for the band as it set's the blueprints for their whole career, offering so many different sounds and structures that SFA are able to keep expanding upon in the future. "Radiator" does well at introducing new things such as interludes, welsh tracks, techno experimenting and slower more epic compositions. This shows that "Radiator" has dared to expand the sound so much and it has payed off as many fans accepted their growth in songwriting and it helped the band discover even more of the sound they wanted to make than their debut had to offer. This album is highly recommended.

frenchie | 5/5 |

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