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Super Furry Animals - Phantom Power CD (album) cover


Super Furry Animals


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3.28 | 14 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Sofistocated

Super Furry Animals sixth album finds them stripping things back significantly, and going for an album of sophisticated pop songs. While they could hardly be accused of copying 10CC, the comparison with the work of that band is highly relevant. The songs here are equally diverse, they are firmly rooted in pop, yet they are loaded with clever minutiae and attention to detail. On the surface, each track is instantly accessible, but further listens reveal unnoticed layers, complementary effects, and gifted instrumentation.

Take "The piccolo snare" for example. The initial impression is one of a simple Simon and Garfunkel like soft folk number, but dig a little deeper and we find a myriad of underlying detail.

All that said, there is little if any true prog as such here. Despite the aforementioned sophistication, the songs are pop songs, no matter how good they are. Occasionally the band up the tempo and indulge in some heavy rock. "Out of control", the lyrics of which are the source of the album title, is the best example of this, the whole song racing through in well under three minutes.

Only the final track, the 7 minute "Slow life", offers anything challenging. The structure here is slightly more complex although the basic repeating theme remains straightforward.

Ironically in view of the move back to more overt pop sounds, there is no killer single to be found on the album. For all their catchy hooks and superficiality simple melodies, the songs tend to work better as a team. Heard on that basis, this is an enjoyable if unremarkable album.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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