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4.4 out of 5 stars35
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 2 July 2015
Lots of top tunes & a thankful lack of self-indulgent instrumentals.
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on 6 September 2003
WOW!!!! Today I bought The Super Furry Animals sixth LP Phantom Power. As a 12 year old Flaming Lips fan I thought I'd like to try the album. I was wary after 2001's Rings Around The World (the vocoder is a bad instrument) But this LP is a space rock prog pop psychedelic masterpiece. I was attracted to it by the Golden Retriever single (thanks to my dog) And so forked out £price on a fantastically packaged, beautiful collection of Lips-alike music. All weird lyrics about talking turtles named after tennis players, women who turn into dogs. Brazillian street gangs fathered by a blind owl and a load of lying robots created by a corrupt scientist (why can't anyone else have lyrics like these) Plus the brilliant dreamy guitarwork and nice passages of Orbital style techno (but softer and trippier)
Now why aren't the band huge? (sure the fact that Americans are dominating us and that anyone else fails is major) but also its the tendency to drive around in a decomissioned purple tank, making albums of 'ska-techno metalrock' (in their words) and recording a lo-fi LP made purely in Welsh appeals to merely my Chemistry teacher and a couple in Llanelli named Bob and Jane may be a reason but the middle slot at Glastonbury, the charming yeti outfits and the barrage of festival dates may spell the end of their tomfoolery and the start of world domination as it should be. If the Gruff and co continue to make albums of this calibre with their crazy, visually fresh, worldview then surely they'll be more popular than Tom Jones. Check out Venus and Serana, Out Of Control, Piccolo Snare, Golden Retriever, Sex, War And Robots ah hell just buy the album confident it will change your mind and world forever. RULE ON SUPER FURRY ANIMALS WE LOVE YOU!!!
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on 1 January 2016
Love this album, one of my all time top 10.
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on 24 July 2003
What an album. If you own Rings Around The World then you're in for another treat. I never thought that the Furries could come close to match Rings... but they have and more. I'm going to go through the album track by track to give you an idea of it's sound :
1. Hello Sunshine
The opening track is perfectly placed. A gentle, effected female vocal kicks it off before building up to Gruff's chorus. A nice, country-style, twanging guitar in the background and great lyrics. Especially the immortal words - "I'm a minger, You're a minger too, So come on minger, I want to ming with you".
2. Liberty Belle
This track continues where the first left off. A light almost pop sound but when you look a bit deeper the dark lyrics start to creep out. A great song and it says a lot about how good this album is that it's not one of the stand-out tracks.
3. Golden Retriever
The first single and a brilliant song. An amazing bass line keeps it driving along and the first song on the album that'll get you're blood rushing. Unmistakably the Super Furries, no other band in the country could have crafted it. Great guitars, harmonies and lyrics. Shame it's so short though, it only lasts two and a half minutes. Oh and if you get the chance you should see the video. The whole band are dressed in shaggy dog-like suits and it's indescribably amusing.
4. Sex, War and Robots
This is one of the highlights of the album for me. I never really took to the song at first but now I can't get enough of it. A beautiful and soulful song that drifts along with vocals by guitarist Huw Bunford. The lyrics really get to me especially the line "I programmed robots to make them lie". I don't really know why; when you hear the song it'll probably make more sense. What a song.
5. The Piccolo Snare
Well it was bound to happen, it had to, I'm going to mention the Beach Boys. They are clearly an influence but at the start of this track it is clear as day. That doesn't take away from this song though it, like the four before, is total quality. A bit of an electro bass creeps in and takes the song to it's conclusion. These parts are, for me, what made Rings Around the World the album it was and they're executed possibly with even more skill on this album.
6. Venus and Serena
Another perfectly harmonised song. The vocals dominate this song but they're so well done that it creates a great sound. Especially the rising "Venus and Serena" lyrics that lead to the chorus.
7. Father Father #1
A two minute instrumental. An acoustic guitar with brass and some toms and snare. It's a bit reminiscent of Presidential Suite from the last album. Executed very well and a nice lead in to Bleed Forever.
8. Bleed Forever
Another instant classic. This song really optimises this album. A beautiful song with Gruff on top form, really pouring his heart into it. But the lyrics are so dark, the beauty of the song barely disguises it. It works so well, the music its self could have been a love song but the words change it into something even more special. Another highlight of the album.
9. Out of Control
Wow. They're really rocking on this one. Again it's quite dark, discussing Holy war and other light topics, but it fits into the album well and gets the blood pumping again. Gruff's vocals are very effected but fit well. Unfortunately they didn't play it live when I saw them at T in the Park, this song was made for a live show.
10. City Scape Sky Baby
An electronic opening with the song drifting in with some acoustic and vocals. It isn't until a couple of minutes in that it really gets going. This song shows the improved use of the electronic sounds that were introduced in Rings... These parts no longer seem like experimentation, they're an integral part of their sound now.
11. Father Father #2
A reprise of the previous instrumental. They've gone further on #2 with some strings and brief vocal harmonising.
12. Valet Parking
Bah bah bah bah. Nice little bah bah'ing with a meaty sounding lead guitar kicking in. Gruff's vocals holding it all together. This songs all about the vocals really. At first it's lead by bah bah's then sha-la-la-la's. I realise how stupid that sounds but I can't think of any other way to put it.
13. The Undefeated
A bit of trumpet kicks it off, sounds a bit like ska at first. Later a bit steel drum kicks in. Kinda like a ska - reggae - rock song. Sounds strange but, cause it's the Furries, they pull it off. Drifts off in to some samples of machine gun fire.
14. Slow Life
A great way to cap off the album. The electronic sounds come to the fore again and this song has to be the best use of it so far. The timing and arrangement of it is spectacular. It works perfectly leading towards a more conventional Furries sound. Along with the electro sounds there is a Harmonica that works well and all trough the song some amazing string arrangements. This song combines all the best talents of the Furries and hopefully is an example of the direction they'll continue in.
Well that's my review. I've just looked back at it and realised how gushing I've been but what can I say, I'm a fan so I'm bound to be biased. I hope the fact that I could be so full of praise will convince you to get this album. Seriously if you have ears and good taste you'll love it. See them live too if you get the chance.
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on 21 July 2003
When hearing the first single "Golden Retriever", i knew this album was going to be amazing, and expected a rocking sound. But as usuall SFA surpass expectations and musical genre to produce another album which has a bit of everything. This album sounds nothing like any other SFA album (the closest relative is the wlesh sang Mwng) yet equals and surpasses each one, stilling being able to keep that SFA charm.
Also we see a more serious side to the animals as "the piccalo snare", "out of control" and "slow life" all echo the grim, war filled state our world is in. But theres still joy and fun as "the undefeated", "Valet Parking" and "venus and serena" all suggest. The album is also very heartfelt from the glorious opening line "Hello sunshine, come into my life" ("Hello sunshine") to the ballads with a twist "Sex, War and Robots", "Bleed forever" and "City Skyscape Baby", which are in a similar vein to "Shoot Doris Day" and "Presidential Suite" off there last effort (Rings around the world).
But i can not say how great this album is in this short review, its truely brilliant. However if you are expecting rock anthems similar to "golden retriever" and past singles by the band (Herman loves pauline etc) expect for of an acoustic/country tinged relaxed summer album, more in the stylings of mwng and "Run! Christian, Run!" (and abit of techno of course! (see the brilliant techno/acoustic rock anthem that is "slow life" and the brilliant outro to "the piccalo snare").
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on 12 February 2007
Phantom Power is an album that brings in a mirad of differnt genres of music, and reinforces that the super furry animals are one of the great brittish bands of all time. this band are also crimianly undervauled.

When the began thier life, they were signed to creation records, whislt thier fellow lable mates oasis, went onto to greater success with thier sound, oais have remain stuck in a loop, chruning out records that are sub power.

The super furry animals have contiuned to grow and evlove since then, Phantom Power, proves that the super furry animals are a band that simply incablible of releasing sub power records.

The album kicks off with the mellocialic "Hello Sunshine", which despited the mellody and the song title, is anything but a happy song. the album contiunes to take the listener on a rollercoaster of emotions, columiating in the seven minuet techno infulenced epic "Slow Life". great album from a vastly under apericated band, the deserve to have a collasal hit album for thier efforts, it would make me happy to see thier hard effort and work validiaded in album sales.
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on 18 August 2003
Phantom Power sees a return what SFA do best- melodic soulful yet slightly off-kilter songs unspoiled by over-production. Rings Around the World was guilty of being over-produced, which blunted the bands powers in my opinion. What makes this album different from the band's back catalogue is that they sound more relaxed and this results in a distinctly West-Coast feel to the album, a couple of the tunes are very reminiscent of the Beach Boys even! Definitely a good buy, a perfect summer album
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on 30 July 2003
After 18 months or so of only hearing about rumoured sightings of the Super Furry Animals, here they are again, with an ambient, uplifting and ear gripping LP that follows nicely from their previous six superlative albums. The experimental electro pop is still present, but does not dominate this album, as with Guerrilla and Rings Around The World. It rears its head in the closing track 'Slow Life' and creates one of those colossal SFA cinematic finales.
The opening track on the album, Hello Sunshine, is a perfect introduction and the guest female vocal immediately offers something different from SFA.
The new album is cheery, happy and more operatic than what's come before. Every song is laced with the SFA's trademark lyrical humour (so come on Mingers, I want to Ming with you), South American brass, euphoric strings and oozing vocals. You can't escape the beauty of songs like The Piccolo Snare, Bleed Forever and City Scape Sky Baby that share their magic with earlier Super Furry heart wrenchers like Run Christian Run and The Turning Tide.
The Undefeated is the SFA's toe dip into another new genre: reggae. Welsh reggae sounds like a bizarre concept, and it is. I find it the one disappointment on the album and the only track I'd ever consider skipping.
For any fan of the Super Furry Animals, Phantom Power will please you immensely. This album's great and you'll listen to it time and time again.
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on 24 July 2003
SFA’s previous album, '(Drawing) Rings Around the World', was the band’s first real attempt to make a cohesive album as opposed to their previous efforts, which were all simply collections of great songs. But it misfired; the attempt to create an ‘epic’ sounding album petered out toward the end as all passion was sucked out of the album and they ended up sounding like Crowded House at their most gentle.
'Phantom Power' succeeds in all the ways its predecessor failed. In plumping for more variety, whilst maintaining an overall tone of summery mellowness, the whole thing gels together fantastically well. There is one duff track – ‘Bleed Forever’, in which the band inexplicably transform into floppy fringed, shoegazing purveyors of dadrock – but the memory of that is banished by the snarling rock of ‘Out of Control’, the song that the latter half of 'Rings…' was crying out for.
There is a dearth of great tunes on this album. Lovely opener ‘Hello Sunshine’ is pure good-vibe chillout bliss; lead off single ‘Golden Retriever’ an exercise in insanely catchy toe-tapping funk. When the songs resemble ones on previous albums they beat their progenitors hands down. ‘The Piccolo Snare’ is loosely related to ‘No! Sympathy’ but is actually fun to listen to, whereas ‘The Undefeated’ is a beefier, bouncier ‘Northern Lites’. But best of them all has to be the euphoric, transcendental ‘Slow Life’. It’s the perfect send off for this accomplished album: epic in every sense of the word, certainly as good, if not better, than that other gem of an album closer ‘Mountain People’ (which ended 'Radiator'). 'Phantom Power' is simply their best album yet, and certainly trumps a lot of these ‘new rock revolution’ bands publications like the NME are falling over themselves to gush over.
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on 24 July 2003
This is the most amazing CD i have everheard. The lyrics are amazing, the songs are amazing, the price is amazing. Well worth any amount of money
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