Although always experimental and innovative, the Super Furry Animals remained accessible with their tuneful, dreamy pop. As a solo artist, Gruff Rhys continues his band's tradition with Yr Atal Genhedlaeth, which tackles some odd subjects ("Epynt" must be the first ever pop song about the Eurodollar, for example), and you'll need to read the translation to understand what he's going on about, but you can also forget about the meaning and simply appreciate the music.
It's listenable, but innovative pop. Gruff Rhys tries a wide range of sonic experiments, and, to be honest, not all of them work. Sometimes he sounds like a reclusive nerd interpreting his understanding of chart music on a Casiotone keyboard. But even these not-so-great moments are entertaining, if only for their novelty value.
Yr Atal Genhedlaeth is a mostly happy, whimsical album, and this may put off the indie crowd, who seem to prefer their musicians to be morose shoegazers fresh out of art school and covered in eye shadow.
Gruff Rhys shows us the lighter side of alternative music - the side that can be played at dinner parties without making anyone irritated or depressed.
Get it - before the cool people do.
- Chris McEvoy
WHAT OTHER CRITICS SAID:"...a grinning Wonka for absurdist pop candy and whiz-bang noise-making." - Mark Hogan for Pitchfork
"A welcome departure from one of Welsh music's greatest talents. "- Joe Goodden for BBC Wales
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