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Gruff Rhys

American Interior

Turnstile

Dec 08, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Sometime Super Furry Animals frontman and Neon Neon mouthpiece, Gruff Rhys, uses his solo albums as a vehicle for travel and self-discovery. On his fourth venture, American Interior, it was not enough to produce only an album; Rhys has also filmed a documentary film, written a book, and developed an app. The motivation behind this undertaking is John Evans, a distant ancestor of Rhys’ who left their native Wales in search of Welsh-speaking aboriginal North Americans. Specifically, the descendants of legendary Welshman Madog ab Owain Gwynedd, credited by folklore as being the original discoverer of the Americas.

220 years after Evans departed Wales, Rhys set off on his quest, following Evans’ footsteps. All his movements are documented-including a few select shows in unusual locationsthrough writings, images, and video, hence the resultant multi-media package accompanying American Interior. After the short intro song “American Exterior,” the album starts proper with the title track, an ode to the American dream. It is followed by the galloping Wild West-influenced “100 Unread Messages.” Pianos drive the uncharacteristically light “Liberty (Is Where I’ll Be),” which would fit better in a down-tempo lounge setting instead of Rhys’ surrealist mindspace. “Iolo” bursts in as the ambitious soundtrack to exploring previously uncharted territories, representing both Evans and Rhys.

The stories of the two men commingle on American Interior, with the lines between contemporary and historical events becoming blurred. But the majority of American Interior plays out like a quintessential Super Furry Animals album, complete with Rhys’ mournful warble and with a touch more clarity. (www.gruffrhys.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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Aparna
December 19th 2014
7:39am

OMG! I heard this song on the radio, while i was sleep and woke up to listen.  I too am a siegnr, and have to squash the h8t on this!  F8th is bringing the emotion, the conviction and the vocals here.  Everyone knows, that your voice ages with the rest of you so on this song, she has more texture and more passion! Which is to be expected with maturity!!  H8ters either clean out your ears, sober up or just plain grow up.  She is not 18 anymore, she sounds like a soulful, grown and sexy woman now!  Can any of you do better?  the comment on MJB’s well her voice has matured also!! she aint hitting them high notes like before 40 no H8t Appreci8!!  Love you Faith!  Keep it up mama!