Rings Around the World seriously confused me. On the one hand I found parts of it to be great, and really enjoyed listening, but other bits were, I thought, confused and confusing. It seems to be trying to be two almost completely different albums, with tracks that are chilled and mellow being mixed with ones that are very full on and slightly mixed up. Overall I don’t think this gives the album a very good flow, or sense of continuity. Not to be a complete downer, there where bits I did enjoy, and tracks I’m sure I’ll return to in the future, but for me they were a bit few and far between for me to be able to say that I enjoyed the album as a whole.
I always feel the need to make a point of the fact that I don’t know much about music in these reviews, and it’s true. I can only give my opinion based on the skills I have, and at the moment musical appreciation isn’t a forte of mine. So maybe in a few years time, if I continue to expand my musical know-how, I’ll come back to this album and see a new level that’s escaped me listening this time round, who knows? Weirder things would have happened. But for now I think I either don’t appreciate the music in the way it was supposed to be appreciated, or this album really just isn’t my cup of tea and never will be.
There were certainly parts and tracks on this album which I did enjoy. ‘Juxtaposed With U’ and ‘It’s Not The End Of The World?’ really stood out to me as good tracks, and I think that’s because I found them to be some of the most chilled and relaxed on the album. I really think that when Super Furry Animals simplify their music, and relax everything down a bit they create some great stuff, I just don’t like it so much when the sounds become too complicated and full on for me to appreciate fully.
As I was listening to each track I kept a few notes on what I thought, and the tracks that I wrote the most positive notes next to were the ones that were chilled. The more intense songs tended to have a few negatives attached (such as complicated, and mixed up). I also noticed very little repetition in the album, with each tack having its own style, slightly different from the others on the album. Maybe this is why the album didn’t quite gel together very well for me, but I think I liked that each song had its own ‘uniqueness’. It certainly stopped me getting too bored. Maybe they just went a bit too far with the differences between some of the music, and that’s what made me think that it was one album that wanted to be two?
Listening to each track individually would probably be fine, but I think overall the album is a bit lacking. It doesn’t flow too well from beginning to end and seems like too many different styles have been used. Some songs I enjoyed, some I really didn’t. Ahh well, it’s not the end of the world?
Overall Rating: 4/10
Listen to my favourite of Super Furry Animals here