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Hotel Shampoo CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Feb. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Turnstile
  • ASIN: B004DDKPDM
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,515 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

CD Description

Hotel Shampoo is Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys' third solo album, and his first in nearly four years, since 2007's Candylion. The record was originally intended to be a collection of piano ballads, although when he went into the studio to make Hotel Shampoo the songs evolved into a much more varied assortment of tracks. The album is named after Rhys' habit of hoarding complimentary hotel toiletries whilst on tour.

BBC Review

Despite his well-documented anarchic streak, Gruff Rhys has often showed a weakness for cosy, bucolic songcraft, leading to tunes that while pleasant on the ear, rather sell short the scope of his creative ability. His third solo album began in such a comfortable place: as Rhys puts it, "I thought the time had come to buy a suit and record an album of piano ballads". Thankfully, though, Rhys also boasts an insatiable creative wanderlust, so Hotel Shampoo – the title inspired by his impressive collection of miniature cosmetics, salvaged over a decade of touring with Super Furry Animals – journeys far beyond its simple starting point.

Hotel Shampoo was written and recorded around the same time Rhys filmed Seperado! – a so-called "psychedelic western musical" that took him out to South America in search of the Welsh colony in Patagonia – and the influence of the continent’s music suffuses throughout. Tropicalia, of fascination for the Super Furries since 2005’s Love Craft, has left a definite imprint on the album’s sing-song melodies and rich production, while songs like Sensations in the Dark and Vitamin K bloom with samba percussion and warm mariachi brass. Meanwhile, the brilliant Shark Ridden Waters, produced by Finders Keepers head honcho Andy Votel, feels mysterious and exotic, like an alien transmission. Commencing with the wheel of an analogue radio dial, it builds a loop salvaged from 60s beat group The Cyrkle into something sweltering and romantic: "I didn’t know you," sings Rhys, "But you felt like a friend."

At this stage in his career, it’s no shocker that Gruff Rhys should turn out a few tracks we’ll call business-as-usual: Honey All Over and the Beatles-esque Sophie Softly probably could have slotted into any album he has been involved with in the last decade without feeling out of place. But a handful of more quixotic numbers provide album highlights. Christopher Columbus hooks a tale of relationship breakdown on the tale of the collapse of Mayan civilisation, adding a killer sax break in the process; while Space Dust #2, a duet with Swedish vocalist El Perro Del Mar, is a wonderfully written tale of eyes meeting over papers at a science conference – but this love has a shelf-life. "You upped and left without warning," she sobs. "I had to work in the morning," responds Rhys, innocently.

--Louis Pattison

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Format: Audio CD
We have all done it, either purloined all the "free toiletries" from within an hotel room or found out that we have accidentally packed a dressing gown or a towel which doesn't belong to us! It appears that my countryman Gruff Rhys the lead singer of the greatest Welsh band ever the Super Furry Animals is very partial in this respect to Hotel Shampoo bottles (some 574 at the last count many of which he showed at a recent Cardiff exhibition) and hence the title of this very loose concept album. There are people in this part of the world who don't so much like the SFA as worship at their alter and this reviewer happily falls into the latter category. So the prospect of a third Gruff solo outing was welcome news as was the understanding that before it was placed into the CD drive it would offer up some stunning highlights, a range of more solid songs and the obligatory couple of duffers. It was ever thus, but that is the price we pay for a singer who refuses to stand still and remains pointing his tank down the road marked fun infused experimentation.

The highlights here scream out on the first listen to Hotel Shampoo and some are real corkers. Yes the ghosts of Lennon and McCartney may haunt "Sophie Softly" but is is a lovely pop song, so too is the wistfully poptastic "Heart of love" which has the word single stamped all over it and some lovely vocals by our hero. Opener "Shark ridden waters" starts with a gentlemen with a deep Italian accent and different radio channels emerging from a recorded radio dial before it shifts into a dark little ditty reminiscent of some of the Supers best work.
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Format: Audio CD
I have listened to this half a dozen times in three days. It is very super furryesque in terms of melody and the songwriting on all tracks are superb. It is definitely a more mellower album than the last few Super furries and Gruff Rhys albums and I suspect will be in my top albums of the year. I just hope that it gets the wider recognition and listens it deserves.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As I sit here, typing this review, listening to 'Hotel Shampoo', it's a cold, grey morning outside and that feels wrong. The music makes me think of sunny summer days. In fact, I should build myself a time machine and nip back to the 1960s because it would be an ideal soundtrack to a film set in that era, with an attractive couple in an open-topped sports car racing round the countryside.

Where does 'Hotel Shampoo' fit into Gruff Rhys's considerable musical output? It's his smoothest, most sumptuous sounding solo album by far, with plenty of string and brass accompaniment; this is far from the minimal-budget simplicity of 'Yr Atal Genhedlaeth'. SFA-wise, it reminds me most of (the excellent) 'Love Kraft', in that it works as an understated whole.

The most commercial tracks are packed into the opening section of the album, then it settles into low-key loveliness for the most part, with a subtle folk influence at play. 'Hotel Shampoo' isn't going to change the world of music, but Gruff Rhys is an immensely talented songwriter and this record is a welcome addition to his catalogue of work.
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I've only had this album a few days on the recommendation of a friend, its beautiful tunes from start to finish. Obviously if your SFA fan then you'll love this however, for someone looking to dip a toe into the SFA this would be an ideal choice as its tunes are very upbeat and light. Stunning Faultess Album!!
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Format: Audio CD
this is an absolutely brilliant, uplifting work. Gruff's best solo album to date.
there's not a single duff track and the absolute highlights are "cristopher columbus", "shark-ridden waters", "sensations in the dark" and "if we were words we would rhyme".
gruff's first album was simple, the second one a little bit more complex and this is another big step forward towards more complex arrangements and subtlety, while retaining the usual charm of his direct, childlike approach. excellent.
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Gruff Rhys is simply a very under estimated musical genius. His style of music has matured from the post punk/ acid laced music of the Super Furry Animals into a more laid back style. This album has touches of the Beach boys melodies as well as Gruff usual surreal sense of humor. So all of you middle aged farts out there, burn your Coldplay records and buy a album with real style and talent!
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Format: Audio CD
After the concept of Rhys' 2007 long-player Candylion, Hotel Shampoo is an out and out pop record, from the opening ripples of 'Shark Ridden Waters' to the gentle closing waves of 'Rubble Rubble'. The album is 13 songs, all around the 3 minute mark with many of the excesses of previous work honed into a focused album with a rich, warm and melodic glow. It feels in many ways as a more polished companion album to Super Furry Animals' debut 'Fuzzy Logic'. Yes, that good.
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