Album: Gruff Rhys, Hotel Shampoo (Ovni (Turnstile))

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The Independent Culture

Originally planned as an album of melancholy piano ballads, Hotel Shampoo turns out to be brimful with the kind of inventive musicality we've come to expect from the Super Furry frontman, but less excessively rendered than usual.

Instead, the simpler arrangements allow more room for Rhys's sleek harmonies to drive his whimsical wordplay: accordingly, the album has the lush, beguiling charm of a sun-kissed soft-rock album by The Beach Boys or The Young Rascals. Opener "Shark Ridden Waters" glides with effortlessly pop buoyancy, "Christopher Columbus" has a slick 1960s staccato stomp feel and the Bacharach-esque "Take a Sentence" is as wistfully melancholic as anything Rhys has written.

DOWNLOAD THIS Shark Ridden Waters; Christopher Columbus; Sensations in the Dark; Take a Sentence