Gruff Rhys: Hotel Shampoo (Ovni)

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Gruff Rhys: Honey All Over
Gruff Rhys: Hotel Shampoo (Ovni)

The singer for Wales' Super Furry Animals here delivers his third album and the reference points are pure Sixties melodic pop (the Vogues, Buckinghams, early Lennon-McCartney, the Beach Boys) and the LA singer-songwriters of the early Seventies (all those various Taylors, Dan Fogelberg etc). And a little mariachi trumpet.

This makes for a light and breezy pop confection guaranteed to bring approving smiles and nods of recognition (the hair-in-breeze Honey All Over) and even the darker moods (Vitamin K, Take A Sentence) come with memorable choruses and Bacharach-like strings and arrangements.

There is very little here you'd say is essential but as with so many low-flying albums, once you've heard it you can take it to heart.

That said, given this is his third solo outing, the familiarity and the lack of a couple of real killer pop tracks (Honey All Over is as close as this comes) -- and that a couple of songs sound like they are reprising others -- means this is best described as pleasant  . . . and thereby stands condemned with faint praise.

Like the sound of pop music of this kind? Then check out this.

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Gavin Hancock - Dec 8, 2011

Welsh names are great, aren't they? This guy sounds like he was the 4th Billy Goat Gruff...the forgotten Welsh one.

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