Super Furry Animals

Juxtaposed with U

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    5
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This is SFA's urban soul single, complete with disco strings, sultry rhythms, and a tongue-in-cheek vocoder vocal from Gruff. It's actually a bit startling as the lead single from Rings Around the World, since it's simultaneously more straightforward than the average Furries song, but also a little more self-conscious. Upon repeated plays, those misgivings fade away, and it seems like a fine single, especially since the B-sides are so nice. "Tradewinds" is very much within the same vein of the A-side, albeit without a vocoder. And then there's the terrific "Happiness Is a Worn Pun," a piledriving rocker that embraces conventions as it inverts them. The very fact that this is thrown away as the second B-side, graced with a puntastic title, only confirms who consistently inventive and utterly dazzling Super Furry Animals really are. Five albums in, and there still isn't a better band on the planet -- and probably there isn't a better one in outer space, either.

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