Gruff Rhys – Hotel Shampoo (Turnstile) 14/02/2011

February 14, 2011 by  

It’s been four years since ‘Candylion’ – the last offering from Gruff Rhys. But now he’s back, and he’s brought with him a more contemplative, mellow mood than ever. Describing his new release as an album of “piano ballads”, Rhys isn’t wrong – that’s exactly what it is. But not exclusively.

He has reached into almost every section of the orchestra utilising (amongst others) steel drums and a xylophone with the odd trumpet and saxophone thrown in for good measure. Rhys has also sampled classic short wave radio frequencies and even given credibility to the wobble board. These are just a handful of reasons to bring a smile to your face whilst blissing-out to ‘Hotel Shampoo’.

This is without even getting to the vocal yumminess. ‘Hotel Shampoo’ ranges from nostalgic swing to quirky melancholy and back again, many times. The samba, psychedelia and swing are all tied together with croonings from this super charming Super Furry Animal.

[rating:3.5]


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