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Thursday, August 7, 2003

Review - Phantom Power

Artist: Super Furry Animals

Posted on Thu, Aug 7, 2003 at 4:00 AM

Phantom Power
Label: XL/Beggars Banquet
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Phantom Power

For the uninitiated, SFA play the kind of pop you'd expect to hear waiting in the dentist's office both before and after the laughing gas kicks in. Staying true to the Furries' formula, "Phantom Power" buries impishly liberal leanings amid dense layers of kaleidoscopic harmonies inhabited with mingers, ninjas and golden retrievers. Although this time they've toned down the studio gimmicks that made last year's "Rings Around the World" so overblown. Instead, they've gone for a more organic and uncomplicated sound, such as the warm steel-guitar crescendos of "Sex, War and Robots." But that's not to say they're not prone to the same fuzzed-out free-for-all ("Out of Control") that gave RATW's title track its charisma. Overall, what makes "Phantom" so unique is SFA's ability to channel garish psychedelic energy into something cerebral and tangible.

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