- Also available in a limited edition.
The single, "Lazer Beam", is something of a red herring--an upbeat, funky number that sees frontman Gruff Rhys unveil his "radical new vision", which appealingly, includes the pledge "no more romantic comedies!" While the pace is generally slow, however, this is an album peppered with gems. Aliens land on the glorious "Psyclone!", which uses strings from guesting High Llamas man Sean OHagan to excellent effect, while the languid "Frequency" is comprised of lyrics written in what frontman Gruff Rhys refers to as "Blairspeak". Rhys gives up the microphone, however, for what turns out to be two album highlights: "Atomic Lust", which sees drummer Daf Ieuwan cooing "Lets get our shit together" over sudden explosions of guitar and pounded, one-note piano; and guitarist Bunfs goofy, comical "Back On A Roll". --Louis Pattison
Love Kraft is immense in scope, with more than half its 12 tracks featuring swooning string arrangements (courtesy of unofficial Furry and sometime High Llama, Sean OHagan), as well the odd appearance from a 100-strong mixed voice Catalan choir. Strangely though, for a record thats ended up so large, the initial "concept" was deliberately scaled back by producer Mario Caldato (Beastie Boys and the guy who mixed Phantom Power).
Love Kraft is nothing if not a sophisticated piece of work. As the seventh and ultimate (but not as in last) Super Furry Animals album, it is the sound of them growing up, with not a tank, yeti or inflatable bear in sight.
The previous 6 studio albums & 2 compilations are classic albums, and this one is no exception.
Most of the other band members take lead vocals on at least on track but this only adds to the Furry experience.
The album is much more mellow and Orchestral than either Phantom Power or Rings Around the World but it still has the Furry Cosmic Funk element.
Forget what the media is telling you to listen to, The Furries are the best band on the planet.
Talk of this release being the 'definitive' Furries' LP is not far wide of the mark - elements of their back catalogue are evident throughout, although by no means are the boys re-treading old ground here. From the magisterial opener 'Zoom!' - the lyrics of which are simultaneously melodic and insanity-tinged - to the the delicate closing ivory-tinkles on 'Cabin Fever', this album is typically...er, furry.
Significantly, the tracks on which Gruff steps down from lead vocals, particularly the divine 'Atomik Lust', are no weaker for it - the key, surely, to their longevity, and an indication that the talent within the SFA gene-pool far surpasses that of their peers. Though the media naturally focuses on SFA's lunacy (techno tanks, etc) - they have become the most consistent purveyors of inventive indie rock in an increasingly bland field.
Recent single 'Lazer Beam' naturally stands out as the most commercial pop effort, though this is no bad thing - its a masterfully eccentric release in the vein of 'Juxtaposed...'. The beautifully-crafted 'Ohio Heat' and the hummingly-sweet 'Cloudberries' are further highlights, though 'Back On A Roll' is the least convincing of the bunch.
Simply, lyrical genius (as per SFA standard), beautifully understated production (courtesy of Mario Caldato Jr) and the dominant influence of Master of Strings Sean O'Hagan all add up to the most consistently melodic Furries' album since 'Radiator'.
I advise you to assist your ears in their pursuit of joy and delight forevermore by investing in this album forthwith.
Lyrically there is the combination of catchy slogans, keen observation and nonsense, for example: "Sold you a dalmation, but the spots fell off." from the opening track Zoom!. This is layered above superb electric soundscapes which captivate and envelope the listener.
It is hard to pick out any track for special praise because they are all excellent. The only slight criticism (and I'm only saying it in order to remain balanced) is the fact that each band member sings which to me seems to be a bit contrived at times.
I have read in places that this could be the album to make the wider world stand up and listen, but somehow I doubt it. Not when none of their other fantastic albums manage to do this. However for those sensible enough to love the super furries this album is as good as anything before it.
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