CD Phantom Power [Super Furry Animals] (CD 1304901),
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Phantom Power [Super Furry Animals]
Super Furry Animals
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 5123752
Super Furry Animals: Gruff Rhys (vocals, guitar); Huw "Bunf" Bunford (guitar); Cian Ciaran (keyboards); Guto Pryce (bass); Dafydd Leuan (drums).
Additional personnel includes: Jonathan "Catfish" Thomas (pedal steel guitar); Sally Herbert, Gill Morley, Ellen Blair, Brian G. Wright (violin); Marcos Holdway (cello); Ray Carless (saxophone); Gary Alesbrook (trumpet); Savio Pacini, Rico Rodriguez (trombone); Rachel Thomas (background vocals).
With their energy, melodic knack, and edgy, wide-ranging eclecticism, Wales's Super Furry Animals were one of the best and most consistently interesting rock bands to emerge in the 1990s. The band's stock continued to rise with 2003's PHANTOM POWER, an effort that combines the Super Furries' penchant for hook-heavy psychedelia with a newfound love of laid-back tempos and country-rock flavors. From the weeping steel guitars on the drowsy, surreal "Sex, War & Robots" and the desert highway feel of "Bleed Forever," it sounds as if the band has been on a steady diet of the Eagles and Gram Parsons.
Yet the harmony-heavy wake-up anthem "Hello Sunshine" and the electronica-tinged pop of "Venus and Serena" unfurl the band's familiar '60s-influenced flag. Lush, orchestral pop dominates in "Father Father, No. 1" and the string-sweetened "The Undefeated." Though the mood of PHANTOM POWER is, on the whole, decidedly mellower than the Furries' previous releases, "Golden Retriever" and the post-punk of "Out of Control" find the band still cranking up the amps and guitars. Packed simultaneously with hazy country twang, taut New Wave textures, thudding rock, and sweet pop melodies, PHANTOM POWER shows a band working at the peak of its style-splicing, pleasure-giving powers.
Spin (08/03, p.113) - "...Tempers the giddy IMAX ambition of 2001's RINGS AROUND THE WORLD with some art-house despair....the band reprogram decades of pop history for iPod shuffle-play, and styles from electronica to country fade in and out like an old man's memory..." - Grade: A
Entertainment Weekly (07/18/03, p.76) - "...The luminous orchestrations and harmonies counterbalance bleak observations about radiation poisoning, holy wars, and 'pretty pictures of starvation'..." - Rating: B
Q (01/01/04, p.79) - Ranked #24 in Q's "The 50 Best Albums of 2003" - "[I]nventive and ambition as ever, but laudably accessible..."
Uncut (8/03, p.100) - 4 out of 5 stars - "...An album of hope and humour and beauty, PHANTOM POWER is frequently as deep and mysterious as its title intimates. Feel it for yourself..."
Alternative Press (9/03, p.104) - 4 out of 5 - "...The addictive melodies of these classic, mostly straightforward pop and glam jams will just hit your bloodstream even quicker..."
CMJ (07/07/03, p.6) - "...The greatest bunch of sonic surrealists to ever set forth from the British Isles just continues to shock and amaze with its perfectly bizarre blends of lush harmonies, magical melodies, electronic over-and-undertones and complex song construction tactics..."
Mojo (Publisher) (01/01/04, p.58) - Ranked #16 in Mojo's "The Best of 2003"
Mojo (Publisher) (08/03, p.92) - 4 out of 5 stars - "...PHANTOM POWER is a fabulous record, a baffling, joyful, touching, frustrating, silly, totally seductive album that you can lose yourself in for an hour, a day, a week..."
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Epic (USA) 5123752
Sony Music Entertainment
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