Super Furry Animals – Dark Days/Light Years
As an absolute newcomer to SFA, and not having listened to the back catalogue I suppose I should tread careful about passing judgement on it. And for various reasons I have been struggling to make my mind up. Having skimmed over their musical history, it becomes a bit clearer why I struggle to comment on it.
Throughout the songs they display a confidence in their voices and instruments which comes only from years of intensive practice. Each song has been carefully crafted, with intriguing aural highlights. I’m especially fascinated by the effect of contrasting bass drum and vocals with violins.
But, throughout the album I feel they are referencing/ embracing/ mocking some defining pop elements of the 80’s and 90’s. Some songs make me think of the Proclaimers, with their 500 miles to go, and others of any of the then popular boy bands.
Having lived and partied through these decades, I’m a bit weary of some of the music stereotypes that were generated then. On the same token, it was fun. Then. And I suppose this generation should be given an opportunity to experience the same plain fun, without having to go through old LP’s and trying to find a record player.
Putting these personal issues aside, I certainly find the first 2/3 of the album an easy one to listen to, but the last third gets a bit too repetitive for my liking. My absolute favourite would have to be ‘Mt.’ for its tonal qualities, interesting lyrics and strong vocals carrying one up and over the mountain. Next up would be ‘Inconvenience’ and ‘Pric’. The latter one being an electronic indulgence to sit in the dark and trip out to. And last but not least, my least favourite would have to be the one song in Welsh, ‘Lliwiau Llachar’, and don’t beat me up for it: I readily admit I don’t speak Welsh, but to me it sounds like an old ‘Boy Band’ whose dentures are about to fall out.
All in all, a nice easy album for a party, dancing and as background. Not necessarily my personal favourite, but it gets the housework done. 😉