July 12 - 21 @ Somerset House, London
Lowri Williams
15:54 30th June 2005

 

Super Furry Animals - 'Love Kraft'Another Super Furries album can only mean one thing; it's summertime and the happy disposition of ‘Love Kraft’ only adds sheer pleasure to the notion. This time, however, with their seventh studio album-proper, the band have produced a work that's not only typically innovative (it features both Catalonian choirs and shaking furniture, for God's sake), but it's the first Furries album to feature vocal contributions and songs from all members of the band.

The splash at the start of opener ‘Zoom’ is actually Bumf jumping into a swimming pool in Catalonia where most of the album was recorded, before being whisked off to be mixed in Rio De Janiero. The song is an apt introduction to the psychedelic nature of the entire album, and even by the Furrie's standards is a track of epic proportions. ‘Love Kraft’ is essentially about…well love, in all its shapes and forms as well as lust and heartbreak - Christ, it's an album that’s artwork seemingly consists of a large red dick with antlers and features songs with titles like ‘The Horn’ (I don’t think they’re talking about the Pot Noodle Horn) and ‘Atomic Lust’…saucy!

‘Ohio Heat’ has been a favourite at their recent live shows, buoyed by an insanely jolly vibe, despite dealing with the delicate subject of an unwanted bun in the oven.  Gruff sweetly sings “Sweet as sugar from a bee…evolutions incomplete,” making this track the backbone of the entire album. The strings of ‘unofficial furry’, Sean O’Lagan, are prevalent throughout ‘Walk You Home’ lending a notable classical element to the track; classical not really being an adjective normally associated with this hyper-eclectic outfit - classic, yes - classical no, but hey, such is their genius it really does work.

The lead single from the album, ‘Lazer Beam’, definitely has echoes of one of the band's defining hits, ‘Herman Loves Pauline’, about it except with howling. Nice. Elsehwere, the album at times retreats to the melancholic side of love - the sadness of ‘Cloudberries’, for example, is reflected through the mournful humming and electric guitars overlayed with violins that are a little too reminiscent of Des’Ree (think ‘Romeo & Juliet’ soundtrack). Thankfully, the swooning orchestrals add a swooning, soaring aspect to the track, before the moans and voices finish it all off beautifully. Ahhh.  

Undoubtedly the greatest achievement of ‘Love Kraft’ is the Furries ability to weave O’Lagan’s strings within their own highly stylised very technique - an achievement that's helped to create a mature, more organic album that proves the Furries are able to move away from their comfort zone into even deeper waters.