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64. Super Furry Animals – Slow Life

21/10/2009

200px-SFA-Slow-Life

The Furries are at their best when they’re mixing their musical drinks, and with that in mind Slow Life is possibly the finest sonic cocktail of their career. But the musical double helix of Byrdsian power pop and wibbly techno on display here isn’t the song’s only virtue – Gruff Rhys’ oblique collage of rolling-news buzzwords offers a dystopian, depressed image of the post-9/11 world, and you don’t often get one of those over a seven-minute stomper – the “I see televisions/Pretty pictures of starvation” line is particularly evocative to anyone who’s seen a beautiful African landscape on a televised DEC appeal. With the schizoid backing track swinging from elegant to unhinged and back again, Rhys’ apocalyptic visions offer the song an odd coherence, and as the outro decays and the strings shimmer into nothingness, Slow Life takes on a weird doomsday feeling of its own. While this is, thank God, about as political as Super Furries get, Slow Life still works as a thought-provoker – the bloody-mindedness and force of originality here is as persuasive as anything less opaque.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sam permalink*
    22/10/2009 10:02 am

    UPDATE: In a moment of odd synchronicity, Gruff Rhys’ mantra here of “Rocks are slow life” was beautifully explained with awe-inspiring examples on today’s In Our Time programme on BBC Radio 4, which discussed the geological history of the UK. You can listen again here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00n8t48

  2. 22/10/2009 3:35 pm

    This is a song and a half, and no mistake… the drop into geetar at 1.50 makes me grin from ear to ear every single time…

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