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Old 05-15-2006, 04:21 PM   #241 (permalink)
The Sexual Intellectual
 
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4. SUPER FURRY ANIMALS - RADIATOR (1997)

Furryvision
The Placid Casual
The International Language Of Screaming
Demons
Short Painkiller
She's Got Spies
Play It Cool
Hermann Loves Pauline
Chupacabras
Torra Fy Ngwallt Yn Hir
Bass Tuned To D.E.A.D
Down A Different River
Download
Mountain People

It might surprise people to see this album so high.But I think this album is one of the best kept secrets in the world.Everybody I know who has heard this album rates it as highly as I do but for some reason it`s criminally ignored by most of the record buying public .Hell I even convinced a hardcore Radiohead fan that it was the best album to come out in 1997 , Now he loves this album too. I`ve owned this album since the day it came out. I can honestly say that there`s never been longer than a week when i`ve not heard at least a couple of songs off it in all that time. Thats almost a decade of constant listening to it and i`ve never been bored by it at all ... not once.
This album has everything but the kitchen sink thrown in.It`s progrssive , it`s got 70s glam , krautrock , techno , punk , folk , electronica, it has theremins , moogs , mellotrons , nonsense lyrics , welsh lyrics , but most of all it`s FUN.
I`ve often been accused of being a miserable bastard on here not liking much.And you can put that down to this album. I hear this album i hear how diverse it is , I hear how much fun it is & I wonder , why can`t other bands be this original or this diverse ? why can`t other albums be this much fun to listen to ? I`m not saying I want a whole host of Super Furry clones I just wish that bands had this much ambition & confidence to try new & different things.In fact there`s so much going on in this album it`s gonna be bloody hard to write about it , but i`ll give it a shot.....
Furryvision is a nice little intro which opens the album nicely , a slow simple instrumental peice with lashing & lashings of strings , which launches straight into the first song proper. Taking the name from the former name of the band The Placid Casual I can only describe as a Wire song with Beach Boys harmonies with weird Brian Eno circa early Roxy Music style electronic noodlings.
The International Language Of Screaming is an ironic song for the simple fact for a song about language I can`t understand a bloody word of it. But thats common with the Super Furry Animals , you can`t tell the difference when they sing in another language because the lyrics are so bloody difficult to understand in the first place. There is a story that Creation records boss Alan Mcghee saw them play a gig in Wales , after it he approached lead vocalist Gruff Rhys and told him that he enjoyed the gig but wished the band would sing in English , to which Gruff replied "we WERE singing in English"Getting back to the song it`s a wonderful 70s style glam rock stomp with loads of lalala`s woooo`s , beeps , bloops & weird noises in the background like a demented robot crashed into the studio, and like the title suggests , lots of random screaming.Demons is up next , a nice little ballad with a killer riff to give the song a bit of an edge to it. I`m not usually a fan of rock ballads but with the Super Furries they don`t make boring songs and there`s plenty of poppy melodies & rock guitars to keep me interested.
Now normally things start to go south on any other album , you always seem to get the middle filler songs around this time , not so here. After the short intro of Short Painkiller we get to possibly the highlights of the album in quick succession , first up is She`s Got Spies , It starts off with a slow intro & then suddenly kicks off into a full on glam rock stomp , no weird noises here just full on ROCK. !!!
And it just gets better , followed up by Play It Cool & Hermann Loves Pauline two hit singles & two bona fide Super Furries classics. Play It Cool , the indie football anthem of the 90s., a wonderful slow building song with gushings of mellotron. In fact the song was even used on Actua Soccer 2 on the Playstation where if you use the following cheat ( left, left, square, right, right, circle, up, down. ) you can play the game as the band. Hermann Loves Pauline is another glam rock stomp with possibly the weirdest subject matter ever , a lovechild between Einstien & Marie Curie (possibly) which contains the immortal lyrics 'Marie Curie was Polish born and French bred , Hah! FRENCH BREAD!!!! Of course she ended up dead from radiation , Slow, invisible, suffocation
At the 24 hour garage, or any service station And as I lead my life as a quest for information Surrounded by pies and books Middle aged drivers and teenage cooks
??????????????????? Don`t ask me I just like the song.
I have no idea what any of that is supposed to mean but the song is good so who cares.
The middle section is finished off with Chupacabras , Try & imagine the Beach Boys doing a duet with the Ramones , it`s also only 1.28 long.
The final run to the end album is much more diverse and where the band really flex their musical muscles. Torra Fy Ngwallt Yn Hir despite being sung in welsh is one of my favourite songs on the album. It`s an uptempo pop , almost folky song done with an acoustic guitar , the kind of thing the Flaming Lips do really well. It`s an absolutley gorgeous song filled with great pop hooks & melodies. You don`t even notice it`s not sung in english.And because it`s only 1.54 long it leaves you wanting more.Bass Tuned To D.E.A.D , is much in the same sort of thing as Demons , nice solid rock ballad with a killer riff another one of my favourites off the album. Down A Different River sounds like Neil Young fronting the Flaming Lips starting off as an acoustic ballad before the guitars kick in half way.I would say the next song Download is probably the weakest point of the album , it`s a slow ballad done on piano/mellotron , it`s a nice enough song but compared to the rest of the album it`s just that little bit dull.It`s not terrible , it`s just it comes after 2 other much better ballads.Finally we get to the albums crowning moment. Mountain People. Words cannot express how much I adore this song. It`s the longest song on the album clocking in at just under 7 minutes and not a second of it is wasted. It starts off simple enough with a gentle acoustic guitar , then the other guitars kick in gently strumming away , the song thnm goes into an instrmental breakdown with plenty of strings & operatic backing vocals Then after a couple of verses the guitars really kick in and start rocking, the riff gradually takes over the song and speeds up breaking into a full on techno blast for the last minute or so of the song.In fact it`s a shame it`s only 7 minutes long , when they play this live they extend the techno bot of the song so that the whole song lasts about 15 minutes.I would have loved it had they done that on this album , but even without it`s still a great song.
So there we have it , in my opinion THE most underrated album of all time and this album is pretty much one of the reasons I did this list in the first place. I think it`s so sad that this album isn`t as well known as lots of other albums , your OK Computers , your The Queen Is Dead`s your Joshua Tree`s.I think it`s better than all of those albums by a mile. I see the best British album lists , I see the best rock album lists , I see best album lists & it always has the same old albums on it. This album for me really is as good as I say it is.I really do think that it ranks as one of the top 5 albums ever recorded.As I said at the start , i`ve lived with this album for almost a decade and i`m in no doubt that i`ll still be listening to this in 10 , 25 , 50 years time. It`s my White Album , It`s my Led Zep IV , It`s my Dark Side Of The Moon. I really do rate it THAT highly.


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Old 05-15-2006, 04:23 PM   #242 (permalink)
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dude! where do you find the time to write these reviews!?!? it's enough effort reading them, not that they're not wonderfull, i just tend not to bother reading much these days, i'm getting lazy.
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Old 05-15-2006, 04:25 PM   #243 (permalink)
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I`ve been writing them over the past 3 months , I just add bits to them when I feel like it
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Old 05-15-2006, 04:25 PM   #244 (permalink)
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they're very good i must say, well impressed here...
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Old 05-15-2006, 04:40 PM   #245 (permalink)
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I've heard it... wouldn't rate it as highly as you do. Good album though.
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Old 05-15-2006, 04:50 PM   #246 (permalink)
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And just to shut Adidiasss up here`s a list of 27 albums I like post 1999
And these are just from the year 2000

Air - Virgin Suicides
Apples In Stereo - The Discovery Of A World Inside The Moone
At The Drive-in - Relationship of Command
Badly Drawn Boy - The Hour of The Bewilderbeast
Belle & Sebastian - Fold Your Hands Child
Black Box Recorder - The Facts Of Life
Calexico - Hot Rail
Clinic - Internal Wrangler
Comets On Fire - Comets on Fire
Graham Coxon - The Golden D
Dandy Warhols - Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia
Delta 72 - 000
Eels - Daisies Of The Galaxy
Godspeed You Black Emperor - Lift Your Skinny Fists
Grandaddy - The Sophtware Slump
PJ Harvey - Stories From The City
Hefner - We Love The City
High Llamas - Buzzle Bee
David Holmes - Bow Down To The Exit Sign
Oranger - Quiet Vibration Land
Primal Scream - XTRMNTR
Queens Of The Stone Age - Rated R
Radiohead - Kid A
Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun
Snow Patrol - Songs For Polar Bears
Squarepusher - Selection Sixteen
Super Furry Animals - Mwng
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:43 PM   #247 (permalink)
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You know I heard the earlier versions of Electioneering was nothing like the album version and so perhaps your right with your assertion as to why the song made it there and whats its function was, but out of place or not, will you grant it being a great song?
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:45 PM   #248 (permalink)
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Ah The Super Fury Animals, nice to see you have a soft spot for prog after all Urban.

Anyway, i disagree about Anmesiac being Radioheads best, i think The Bends, OK Computer and Kid A were all better, however it is a VERY overlooked and underrated album, in fact it's the first Radiohead album i ever got, nice to see it get some recognition for once.
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:02 AM   #249 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boo boo
Ah The Super Fury Animals, nice to see you have a soft spot for prog after all Urban.
I think of them as prog pop myself.

Hey look I just invented a genre
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:21 AM   #250 (permalink)
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Hmm... Kraftwerk and ELO could qualify as prog pop, wouldn't they?
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