Super Furry Animals - Rings Around The World - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Super Furry Animals - Rings Around The World

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:2001-07-23

The fifth album from Welsh pop prodigies Super Furry Animals, Rings Around the World is their most staggeringly ambitious work to date. Featuring everything from Status Quo-style boogie-rockers to technofied drill & bass meltdowns--and even, on the DVD version, 12 specially commissioned film shorts rendered in dizzying surround sound--this is an immaculately conceived pop masterpiece with far more in common with the excitable genre-crushing of 1999's "Guerrilla" than their previous album, the very respectable but defiantly firework-less Welsh-language folk outing Mwng. One of the greatest joys is that while the lyrics are imbued throughout with a sense of dippy fun, closer inspection reveals a satisfyingly off-kilter --and frequently inspirational--intelligence. The gorgeous "Presidential Suite"--which, incidentally, features John Cale tickling the ivories--marries the classic SFA psychedelic shimmer to a weary lyric concerning the Monica Lewinsky scandal that rocked the Clinton presidency, frontman Gruff Rhys questioning it sadly like it's the most passé thing he can comprehend. Perhaps that's so: when you're playing with the sort of magic that's scattered liberally over Rings Around the World, even the salacious exploits of world leaders pale into tedium. --Louis Pattison

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