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Gruff Rhys

Hotel Shampoo (Fontana)

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If there were a chart for being popular in the UK and non-entities in North America, the Welsh band Super Furry Animals might be number one. Frontman Gruff Rhys steps out, leaving SFA’s rock conventions behind and bringing his vintage keyboards like the Moog and Korg, ideal for injecting serendipity into sweet pop. The compositions and their echoes of Bacharach and Brian Wilson are the initial attraction. It may take a while for the understated vocals of Rhys to win the listener over. For anyone who hoards those tiny hotel shampoo bottles, the colourful title design is a big bonus.

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