Super Furry Animals - Songbook
Mike Mantin 11/10/2004
2004 has seen a number of Britpop survivors in sticky situations. Oasis briefly shuffled onto Glastonbury for a badly-received set; Blur delivered the triumphant Think Tank in 2003 but continue to delve into 'world music' noodling and space missions; everyone else just faded away. You'd expect Super Furry Animals- a band who were once described as just another Alan McGee-assisted fad- to do the same, but no. They have consistently remained innovative and listenable.
Songbook is a collection of the finest singles from one of the most colourful singles bands of the last decade. The bizarre and entertaining publicity stunts have ranged from arriving to festivals in a pink tank to pissing about with Yetis, while the music remains just as weird and wonderful. Every alt-rock classic is here, from the early fuzz-rock of God! Show Me Magic to Caribbean-flavoured classic Northern Lites. It's a showcase for the fact that the Furries are as original and daring as experimentalist mates Mogwai, but their best tunes will remain stuck in your head for weeks. They're one of the few bands who can create an instant Top 20 hit and still stick two minutes of Japanese phone noises at the end of it.
If you're not yet an SFA devotee, this is now the perfect starting point. It's a Greatest Hits that's far more than just a collection of their most commercial work: amidst the 21 tracks are two songs sung in Welsh, a seven-minute techno exploration and a chart hit with the most fucks in it ever. Funny, accessible and original, and this is just volume one.