Rings Around the World [Bonus Disc]

Rings Around the World [Bonus Disc]

by Super Furry Animals
     
 

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Super Furry Animals' leap to a major label in the U.K. with Rings Around the World isn't that drastic of a change -- Fuzzy Logic was also released on Epic in the U.S., Creation was subsidized by Sony, and they never were exactly wanting of money on their previous records -- but the band nevertheless seizes the opportunity to consolidate their strengths,

Overview

Super Furry Animals' leap to a major label in the U.K. with Rings Around the World isn't that drastic of a change -- Fuzzy Logic was also released on Epic in the U.S., Creation was subsidized by Sony, and they never were exactly wanting of money on their previous records -- but the band nevertheless seizes the opportunity to consolidate their strengths, providing an introduction for listeners that may not have been paying attention before. As such, it's hard not to consider it as a bit of a missed opportunity, since this is the first SFA album not to progress from its predecessor, or offer the shock of the new, and that's hard not to miss -- but, if this is the first SFA record you hear, it'll likely intrigue, even dazzle, with its kaleidoscopic blend of pop, prog, punk, psych, and electronica. Still, this is nearly Super Furry Cliff Notes, offering a glossy, big-screen variation on all of their themes -- decadently lush pop-psych, chugging rock & roll, bitter leftism, sublimely warped imagery, experimentalism wrapped in luxurious productions. Alluring, to be sure, and satisfying, too, and there certainly are wonderful details scattered throughout the album, the least of which are cameos by John Cale and Paul McCartney. Plus, there is exceptional songwriting here, such as the cinematic "Juxtaposed With U," "Sidewalk Serfer Girl," and "Receptacle for the Respectable," which encapsulates nearly every side of the band within five minutes. Still, it's hard not to want a little more from the band that was the best pop band of the late '90s. It's hard not to at least want surprises (since there are none) or, if it's going to be a consolidation, to have it be a statement of purpose, since it lacks either an overarching theme or a music that gels. So, it's not what it could have been, but what it is is still pretty damn great, satisfying with its melodies, textures, and ideas. Compared to what Super Furry Animals have done before, Rings Around the World pales slightly but noticeably, but compared to the dead world of mainstream and indie rock in 2001, it still shines brightly. [The Japanese release adds a hidden track to the first disc and a seven-track bonus disc.]

Editorial Reviews

Rolling Stone - Peter Relic
A widescreen musical masterpiece with a knowing wink.
Entertainment Weekly - Rob Brunner
"A-"... "At its best (the Beatles-y "It's Not the End of the World?" and the unabashedly nasty "No Sympathy"), the album recalls a lost Brian Wilson-style psychedelic marvel, complete with blankets of harmony, multilayered orchestration, and labyrinthine structures."

Product Details

Release Date:
03/19/2002
Label:
Xl Recordings
UPC:
0607618502621
catalogNumber:
85026

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Super Furry Animals   Primary Artist
John Cale   Piano
Nick Cooper   Cello
Sally Herbert   Violin
Stephen Hussey   Violin
Chris Jenkins   Percussion
Maxine Sibley   Saxophone
Sonia Slany   Violin
Huw Bunford   Band
Dafydd Ieuan   Band
Marcus Holdaway   Cello
Cian Ciárán   Band
Guto Pryce   Band
Gruff Rhys   Band
Howard Gott   Violin
Anna Smith   Background Vocals
John Telfer   Flute
Sophie Harris   Cello
Nick Barr   Viola,Fiol
Jacqueline Norrie   Violin
Gary Alesbrook   Trumpet
Brian G. Wright   Violin
Clarence Smith   Viola,Fiol
Sophie Sarota   Viola,Fiol
Lucy Theo   Violin

Technical Credits

Nick Cooper   Contributor
Herbert Herbie Harris   Contributor
Sally Herbert   Contributor
Stephen Hussey   Contributor
Sean O'Hagan   Contributor,String Arrangements
Christopher Shaw   Producer,Engineer,Contributor
Sonia Slany   Contributor
Keisha Jenkins   Contributor
Eric Tew   Engineer,Contributor
Marcus Holdaway   Contributor,String Arrangements
Howard Gott   Contributor
Stuart Hawkes   Contributor
Richard Wilkinson   Contributor
Anna Smith   Contributor
John Telfer   Contributor
Damien Shannon   Contributor
Sophie Harris   Contributor
Peter Fowler   Illustrations
Jacqueline Norrie   Contributor
Brian G. Wright   Contributor
Lucy Theo   Contributor

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