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Super Furry Animals – Rings Around the World (2001)

June 4, 2015

[Album 399/1001]220px-SFA-Rings_Around_the_World

It’s better than Dark Side of the Moon.

Now, the album art may not have reached such iconic status (yet).  And to put praise in its proper perspective, I don’t live for Dark Side of the Moon.*

But as far as Earth Orbit albums are concerned, I prefer Super Furry to Floyd.

Rings Around the World is out there, yet still grounded in accessible song structures.

The sounds are experimental yet the gravitational pull of melodic hooks keeps things from floating out of control.

There’s star power (John Cale & Paul McCartney appear) but it doesn’t overshadow the main performers (Cale contributes a single piano part, Sir Paul is credited with playing “carrot and celery” on Receptacle for the Respectable).**    Incidentally, Receptacle for the Respectable is an early contender for best song name of the 2000s.

Much like knowledge of our universe, I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface with this stellar album and this group.

I’m certainly keen to learn more.

*I like it but I’ve sometimes found its critical immunity as mysterious as, well, the dark side of the moon.

**When you’ve got a world-class songwriter/my favourite living bassist/a terrific vocalist at your disposal and choose to limit his contributions to chewing carrots & celery over the phone, that’s something!

From → 2000s

  1. This is such a great album, Geoff – another one of those bands that made me pay attention to what was coming out of the UK music-wise.

    • It was new to me this year – right in my wheelhouse though, weird yet wonderful!

      • They have a lot of really, really good albums. Also, Neon Neon’s Stainless Style is worth checking out (the Gruff Rhys ‘hip hop’ project about John DeLorean) – truly brilliant work.

  2. Better than what?! Sacrilege! … Though it does make me want to check out this album

  3. jprobichaud permalink

    Funny. This is the only SFA album in my collection, though I do admit that I don’t listen to it that often any more. I did enjoy it a lot back in the day.

  4. Hackskeptic permalink

    One of the best albums of the decade for sure Geoff, I agree. I love the dramatic switch in style on “Receptacle…”

    “Rings Around The World” is a resounding out and out winner. It sweeps you off your feet in its musical versatility, direction, wit, and above all sheer nerve.

    • Well said Geoff – oh and thank you for the Ian Dury recommendation, I found it this weekend on LP for $10!

  5. I’ve always liked this mob, partly for patriotic reasons. I love all their early singles best – especially ‘The Man Don’t Give a Fuck’ – it has the F-word over 50 times – great value for money!

  6. ianbalentine permalink

    I agree with everyone here…you need to hear more, and the Neon Neon albums J. Mentioned are good as well. Incidentally, that song with the eff word 1537 mentions is based around a Steely Dan sample (Show Biz Kids: “You know they don’t give a fuck about anybody else..”), and it is absolutely awesome!

  7. I don’t know this one, but I sure like your review. The band name is pretty great too.

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