Home > Bargain > Super Furry Animals – Rings Around the World

Super Furry Animals – Rings Around the World

Epic Records, 2001

If you’ve read a few of my reviews, I may seem very hip.  In fact, you may even think I was part of an outlandish hard rock cover band in 2001 with a one hit wonder and now I’m writing all of these reviews with my experience in the music business in mind.  But no, I am not that hip.  I was not a member of Alien Ant Farm either.  In fact, I’m so unhip I hadn’t really heard much of the music by the Super Furry Animals before I picked up this double disc edition of their fifth album.  I know, who hasn’t immersed themselves in hairy mammal music by now?  This guy.  I was too busy listening to show tunes back around 2001 … I know, spare me!  I wear a leather jacket though, so I hope that gets me back in the cool for as long as you read this review.

If one is not familiar with these guys like, er, myself, then one might believe they’re a spacey, soft pop band as the opening track “Alternate Route to Vulcan Street” might suggest.  A very pretty piano intro and a soft cloud of a tune welcome the listener to this record and immediately sets a tone of relaxation.  I have never gotten achieved such a level of comfort since Radiohead’s “Everything In Its Right Place”, so I think this one would certainly go on a cool out mix that I have yet to create.  The quiet peace gets eradicated quickly, however, with a very enjoyable “Sidewalk Serfer Girl” that has some strong pop effects.

The rest of the beginning of this record is really quite good, for “It’s Not the End of the World?” reminds me of a soft pop track that the Beatles could have developed in their later stages.  “Receptacle for the Respectable” continues the pop celebration that Super Furry Animals are obviously trying to build up within the listener.  However, Super Furry Animals decide at this point that enough is enough with the usual.  The catchy yet moody instrumental of “(A) Touch Sensitive” features a catchy build up of what sounds like edited clips of a female enjoying herself during, ah, a close relationship with a partner.  It’s got a smooth groove and doesn’t stick around too long, but it definitely sticks out as something dissimilar from the earlier tracks.  The best track on the record in my opinion is “Juxtaposed With U”, which has a seventies pop feel and is exceptionally catchy with its chorus.  Great, great tune.

The rest of the record sounds fine but it really shuts down in its energy overall, which is too bad.  As a whole the main record is an excellent pop collection that is a fine introduction to the band.  If you happen to score the bonus disc version of this record then be prepared for an eclectic b-side time with some louder and diversified songs like “Happiness is a Warm Pun”.  This particular version of the album is worth seeking out if you particularly like the band, which I’m still deciding on.

“Rings Around the World” is considered one of the bands better records that isn’t named “Radiator”, so I feel lucky that I happened to have found it available.  Since they are still a bit popular I feel that Super Furry Animals records won’t be found in many dollar bins, but if you happen to find them affordable somewhere you probably won’t be disappointed in picking one up.  And by the way, yes, I do feel that much closer to hip right now.  As a matter of fact, I’m going to slot this record in my CD tower right next to the B-52s.  Hot Lava!

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