Rings Around The World (Expanded Edition)
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Top Customer Reviews
The most intriguing thing about this album is the way it combines so many different influences, from so many different genres, and makes it all sound both unique, and perfectly natural. Beyond the obvious Beatle/Beach Boys nods, I pick up references to Elvis Costello, Beck, Neil Young, Harry Nillson, the entire Stax catalogue, the list goes on and on. Basically, any semi-popular, semi-influential band in the last 30 years seemed to make an impression on this band, and they turn up here in various ways, sometimes within one song ("Receptacle For The Respectable," for instance, opens with a bouyant 1964-era Beatle romp, then slows things down to a nice mid-70's Elton John ballad, takes a brief excursion into "Cool Cool Water"-era Brian Wilson-- complete with Sir Paul McCartney munching on veggies-- before finally bringing it home with Chemical Brothers-esque sonic textures and a bit of Korn grumbling), and the effect is both staggering and really, really neato.Read more ›
Where should I begin? Every track is musically vastly different from the other and is punctuated by Gruff Rhys's oddball lyrics, the first five songs getting the album off to a flying start. The mellow piano ballad 'Alternate Route To Vulcan Street' kicks off the album with the enigmatic line "sometimes I ponder/what if the Caspian Sea/should merger/over my shoulder", 'Sidewalk Serfer Girl' lampoons the Beach Boys with a bit of a glam twist, the irresistable electropop of '(Drawing) Rings Around The World' perfectly mirrors the sound of ELO, and Rhys's impeccable singing on the plaintive ballad 'It's Not The End Of The World' sounds as good as the best work by Blur. The album's best moments, though, are in the amazing 'Receptacle For The Respectable' (talk about the song title of the year). It starts at a midtempo, acoustic guitar-driven pace with harmonies that sound lifted straight from Wings, then suddenly breaks down to half the speed in an Abbey Road-styled segue before slowing down even more, with a gentle, horn-driven melody that also features the sound of Paul McCartney eating celery and carrots, then builds up to the final section where, over faux-industrial keyboards, Rhys belts out the song's title in his best death metal impersonation. All this happens in less than four exhilerating minutes, making it one of the most stunning songs you'll hear in a long time.Read more ›
This is also one of those rare albums that completely justifies being issued on two CDs. This is not a function of insufficient discipline in editing: there simply is a lot of great music. From the very first song with the enticing title "Alternate Route to Vulcan Street" through a host of superb songs, this is just great stuff.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Maybe the most underrated album and band ever. This is classic. Love SFA, wish they were still a thing.Published 4 months ago by LJohnson
Great album, underrated band.
I highly recommend this if you are a fan of bands like The Beatles, The Flaming Lips, and Oasis.
Firstly I must say that SFA (like most music) will not be everyone's cup of tea, but those fans who do connect tend to be a bit rabid about the genius of this band. Read morePublished on March 3, 2014 by Andy DeVos
Rings Around the World is an album without a style. Every time SFA start to get a cohesive song together, it's torn apart by an over-reliance on synth-driven technology. Read morePublished on April 26, 2010 by DW
Rings Around the World being SFA's 5th studio album and their 2001 release was their first major label debut. Read morePublished on October 6, 2009 by Bjorn Viberg
I first remember hearing about Super Furry Animals right around the time this album came out. I didn't hear it until a few years later, around when "Phantom Power" came out and I... Read morePublished on April 20, 2009 by Erik Norman
If Brian Wilson was a young man today who was weaned in the indie pop/rock scene, this is the sort of music he'd probably have made. Read morePublished on July 6, 2007 by Matthew T. Medlock
This is the Super Furry Animals at their peak. The songs are more poppy than before and there is less experimental noise than on any other of their albums. Read morePublished on January 22, 2007 by David OBrien
Simply put, this is the most refreshing listen I think I've ever heard.
SFA is a hybrid of 70% Beck and 30% Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.