Good isn't he? This soundtrack to a film about Dylan Thomas's first week in the USA has a warm hopeful feel with the Super Furry Animals lad effortlessly blending cocktail jazz, Americana and Atomic Age bop using vintage instruments and live takes. Recorded at the same time but in very different circumstances to his last LP 'American Interior', this sounds like it will be an essential addition to his back catalogue.
6/10 Clinton Staff review, 29 September 2016
This is typical soundtrack fayre from the ever talented Super Furry Animals lad in that it veers across a number of styles that I'm sure make more sense alongside the film it's set to accompany rather than a standalone album. The title track is a delicious slab of soft pop that recalls Burt Bacharach in his heyday with those lovely soft trumpets and meticulous string arrangements. This theme re-appears throughout the album but is one of the few actual slices of what Gruff Rhys does best. That's not necessarily a criticism of the work - just don't expect your normal Gruff Rhys album jam filled with evocative pop. There are other moments to enjoy however, 'After Hours/Panic' recovers from an inauspicious piano-led start to become a charging instrumental piece with sweeping strings. 'After Hours/Tension' begins with evocative cellos and adds the same blend of instruments that makes the title track so inspiring.
There's a mad rockabilly and jazz inspired section including the remarkable 'Chop Shop' which seems to be an exercise in people blowing on horns as hard as possible and I enjoyed closer 'It Was Hot That Summer' with Elijah Wood's spoken word over the top. It's all very interesting and showcases the breadth of music Gruff Rhys is able to produce but I feel the soundtrack will work better with the film in tow.
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