Music » Critics' Choices

Super Furry Animals

Saturday, November 19, at The Granada.

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We Yanks aren't used to pure musicality and outright gimmickry in the same package. But in the UK — that magical place where eccentricity has been elevated to a virtue — the Super Furry Animals have been high-charting contenders since their 1996 debut, despite, or maybe because of, entire albums sung in Welsh and concerts played in yeti costumes and giant terrariums. Luckily, there's a lot more to the Cardiff quintet than wackiness — as showcased on new album Love Kraft, which throws in everything from lush, McCartneyesque lilt to mutant funk, all of it arranged with the ambition of the Soft Boys, Pink Floyd and every other virtuoso Brit band pretentious enough to push its limits, and all of it sane enough to remain approachable. Singer Gruff Rhys keeps things rooted to the ground with his deep, relaxed tone, even while sympathizing with pterodactyls and glorifying a dinner date into a full-blown space opera, as electro-bossa-nova grooves, bluesy guitar and bizarre squelches sail into the string-drenched ether.

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