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Phantom Power

35 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 21, 2011
$6.73 $0.01

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

With Rings Around the World, Super Furry Animals took a stab at a streamlined, big-budget album, complete with guest stars and cameos. It was accomplished and accomplished what it set out to do -- namely, elevate the Furries' critical standing, making them a mainstay of Mojo readers and opening some doors in American magazines, who had previously ignored the brilliant Welsh quintet. Nevertheless, it was their least-interesting set of music released to date, often sounding constrained by its polished widescreen aspirations (not to mention its similarly cleaned-up, simplified political stance and lyrics), so it comes as no little relief that SFA loosens up on the sequel to Rings, the superbly titled Phantom Power.

This product is manufactured on demand using CD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

A grim mood stalks the Super Furry Animals' spellbound sixth studio album, but, luckily, brilliant music spirits away the thematic gloom as florid semi-acoustic ballads and technicolor glam rock keeps the darkness at bay. Take "Hello Sunshine," a sleepy Beatles-esque number in which Gruff Rhys stands proud on a Freak Power ticket: "I'm a minger / You're a minger too / So come on mingers / I want to ming with you." When Phantom Power is bleak, it's startlingly so. The Stooges-like "Out of Control" is as dark as any Furries song to date. But more often this collection is playful: Rhys appropriates the language of blues and twists it in modern angles on the galloping, glammy "Golden Retriever," while "Slow Life" finds keyboardist Cian Ciaran's demonstrating a skill for electronic assimilation that's previously proved elusive. Sure, it's a jumble, but, like the Beatles' White Album, it hangs together. --Louis Pattison

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Hello Sunshine 3:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Liberty Belle 2:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Golden Retriever 2:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Sex, War & Robots 3:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. The Piccolo Snare 6:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Venus & Serena 3:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Father Father #1 1:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Bleed Forever 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Out Of Control 2:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Cityscape Skybaby 4:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Father Father #2 1:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Valet Parking 4:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. The Undefeated 4:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
14. Slow Life 7:00$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 21, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: XL Recordings Ltd
  • Run Time: 53 minutes
  • ASIN: B00009V7TQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,260 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By James Behrens on July 23, 2003
Format: Audio CD
SFA has done it again. Phantom Power is their 6th album (7th if you count Outspaced), and it's as enjoyable as anything they've done to date. If you're familiar with their back catalog, you know that's saying a lot.
Stylistically, they're still all over the place, from riff-rock to Byrds-esque country-tinged ballads, acoustic folk with a brass section, exuberant freak-outs, techno blips, straight-ahead britpop - just to name a few examples. The lyrics are mostly allegorical commentary on the present state of the world, delivered in Gruff Rhys's deep and dynamic Welsh-accented voice.
According to the band's website, the "Phantom Power" is "a sinister power source that controls the world from beyond people's comprehension. And a lot of things that go on today seem completely illogical and I think we watch the world go by with disbelief."
But the album isn't all doom and gloom. The first single, "Golden Retriever", and in particular the excellent "Valet Parking", an ode to the road, are fun and happy and summertime.
Despite the eclectic mix of styles, the album is very cohesive as a whole, soaked in a lush, psychadelic mood. The tracks are sequenced well, and the mix benefits from the assistance of Mario Caldato (you might remember the Beastie Boys saying "at the boards is the man they call the Mario").
Start to finish, easily one of the best albums of 2003 so far. Not a second of filler anywhere. If you already like SFA, you should have this album. If you've never heard them before, this is as good a place to start as any.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nelle on November 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I've liked the Furries ever since by boyfriend turned me onto them a year and a half ago or so. They took some getting used to at first, but after a few listens you see *why* they kick so much ass. Their music defies easy classification, it runs the gamut from folksy surf pop to hard core techno, with all points in between. Nothing would surprise me at this point.
I started out by buying the Furries' last musical contribution, Rings Around The World (2001, Epic) before being sent the vast majority of Furries' previous albums. They all kicked some serious ass. So I was really excited when I read that a new album was going to be released in the near future. I aquired the album through my usual source about three months prior to it's official release. And have not stopped listening to it since. Thankfully I now have my own legit copy*g*.
You can vividly hear how they were influenced by the Beach Boy's brand of surf pop with their fantastic harmonies and compositions. One good example is on one of my two favorite tracks, Piccolo Snare is wonderfully complex and layered. Just when you think you have heard it all, you hear something new. Plus it is long song and you can just absorb yourself in their world.
On my other favorite track, Slow Life, they go blissfully techno. Slow life is a monster of a song, starting out with syncopated techno beats and a carnival-like feel to the percussion. It flows from techno to rock easily and it also smoothly mixes the two with a good shot of strings for good measure. It also gets nice and trippy at points. The perfect end to a nearly perfect album.
The DVD is good, very good. A big reason to get the DVD: it was mixed in Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound.
Read more ›
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cary S. Whitt on July 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The Furries 6th album is easily there most attainable and cohesive record yet, but they haven't lost one detail that made them one of the most brilliantly quirky acts in music today.
Phantom Power has a slower and darker tone than recent releases like Rings Around the World and Guerilla, but the playful lyrics and superb melodies keep it from any hint of moodiness. Songs like Hello Sunshine and Liberty Belle have their signature sound complete with the odd lyrics and keyboard tinkering. Other tunes like Out Of Control and Golden Retriever, really take on a stomping 70's era rock thing and become instantly, "Glam-tastic." My favorite moments on Phantom Power, come when the melody and the group's wonderful vocals kick in and change pace like a banshee. Songs like The Picolo Snare and Venus and Serena do this as well as it has be done. Overall - it's still way too early to tell where this will fall on my favorite SFA albums, but with Phantom Power, they have only improved their position as one of rocks' best bands.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Wroble on February 19, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Phantom Power, the Furries sixth effort, is not as purely riveting as Fuzzy Logic or radiator, but it brings a new side of hte Furries to the table. This mature SFA has a new mission: to be masters of every musical genre. This mission sounds like what Beck might be doing, but the Super Furry Animals approach multi-genre-ing with a persistent, perfectionist appeal, trying to master each genre they tackle.
"Hello Sunshine" and "Bleed Forever" are piano-based pop tunes, sounding Beatlesque and pre-psychadelia, like a concise Elton John tune.
"Liberty Belle" and "The Undefeated" are Beach Boys Pet-Sounds-era good-vibe songs, with catchy backing harmonies in the choruses and many instruments that give the feel of tropicalia in the songs.
"Golden Retriever" is a bluesy Zepplinesque song that masters stroy-telling bluesmen.
"Sex, War and Robots" is a country ballad that goes slower than molasses but electrifies with its beauty.
"The Piccolo Snare" and "Cityscrape Skybaby" are anticlimactic songs in the style of Radiohead's "Exit Music for a Film"-they use many verses and as the music gets louder and faster they hit an uplifting chorus to end the song. Purely cinematic.
"Venus and Serena" is the closest to the Fuzzy Logic era Furries genre-straight ahead psychadelia alternative pop/punk. The song uses fuzzy guitars to lead to a harmonic psychadelic chorus.
"Father Father #1" and #2" are great instrumentals, a genre that the furries have played with throughout their careers.
"Out of Control" is straight on hard rock with a Doors-like blues edge to it.
"Valet Parking" could also be called Pet Sounds era, but it is more the Mamas and the Papas; it uses an acoustic-tinged riff with ba-ba-bas from the Furries to play under a harmonic tale of a care trip across Europe.
Finally, "Slow life" is the Furries own genre; lengthy, epic keyboard, techno jam. Don't miss this album for the world.
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