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Super Furry Animals - Phantom Power CD (album) cover


Super Furry Animals


Prog Related

3.28 | 14 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

These crazy Welshman never seem to hit rightb on the button, do they? After the "minimalistically" obtuse Mwng and its Spartan looks, SFA actually goes overboard on the other side as if the pendulum was actually increasing its momentum. As opposed to the no-artwork of its predecessor Phantom Power has an incredibly lush and rich presentation with a clever cut out slipcase, a triple fold digipack and its fully decorated boolet, the whole thing being axed on cartoons donkey characters on volcanic background. Quite a pleasure for the eyes, I must say and a real change from Mwong.

Does it mean that the music is more accessible (I mean less obtuse), though? Hard to answer positively, but I personally think so. What strikes most is a much better production: the mud from the tape machines has taken away and the plastic sheets from the mikes. But the music is certainly not progressive or even prog: SFA is more like a clever irrenverencious indie band that takes their influences from a bit all over the 70's but also the early 80's pop. The result is somewhere Radiohead and REM one side and Costello- Weller pop on the other side. Occasional good drumming is one of the plusses, but really not that much more. Not even the weird closer is of much interest for the proghead, it appears as third rate Zappa studio doodlings with Cabaret Voltaire. Best forgotten!!!

Phantom River is certainly more of a pop album than their previous one, with jumpy tracks, some clever and good instrumentation, but in no way is this album any prog or even psych for that matter. Progheads, as much as SFA might be a pleasant group, do not come to this album looking for anything remotely prog.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |


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