Songbook is a singles compilation by one of the best bands of the last 10 years. Still successfully underground and cultish yet melodic and accessible, it is a perfect introduction to the weird and wonderful world of the Super Furry Animals.
Far more ambitious than most of their original Britpop peers, SFA's sound ranges from pseudo heavy metal (Golden Retriever) and garage rock (The International Language Of Screaming) to lush balladry (Juxtaposed With U) and techno (Slow Life) though all with serious lashings of psychedelia and superb Beach Boys-type harmonies. This trippyness extends to their rather stoned lyrics covering such unusual themes as international telecommunications (the superb ELO-influenced Rings Around The World) and Einstein's parents (Hermann Loves Pauline).
The highlights are too numerous to mention with all of the aforementioned songs being excellent as well as the catchy calypso-influenced Northern Lites, melodic guitar-led Ice Hockey Hair and early narcotic thrash of Something For The Weekend. Also included is The Man Don't Give A F***, SFA's tribute to a former Welsh rugby player which serves as a traditional 10 minute, crowd participating encore at their gigs.
Songbook includes most of the best songs that Super Furry Animals have released in their first nine recording years. An essential purchase or introduction to this great band which can be followed by excellent SFA studio LPs such as Radiator and Rings Around The World.
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