Monday, December 05, 2011

STN Albums Of The Year no.32: Gruff Rhys - Hotel Shampoo

Despite the settling into middle age process apparent in both operations, the classic melodies underpinning Gruff's solo material makes it still identifiably different from the outward lounge electronica bounds of Super Furry Animals' recent output. While it takes many a stylistic detour - Beatles psychedelia, surf-scorched tropicalia, Tex-Mex bar band pop, alien planet pastoral - there's a plaintive warmth and even tenderness at its heart, buoyed by a voice that's matured into something that might in another life have a go at Bacharach. As much as he follows his genre wanderlust and off-beam lyrical preoccupations he can't help finding a secretly romantic ground where everything will be OK whatever.


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