In the mood for some psychedelic pop-rock that draws from such iconic figures as Brian Wilson, Burt Bacharach, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Costello? Now, toss in some smartly placed electronic wizardry (as

In the mood for some psychedelic pop-rock that draws from such iconic figures as Brian Wilson, Burt Bacharach, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Costello? Now, toss in some smartly placed electronic wizardry (as well as sly nods to The Love Boat and the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal), and voila, Rings Around the World by Welsh quintet Super Furry Animals. Powerful and invigorating, the sprawling Ring Around the World is also decidedly weird and twisted. Sublime tracks like "It's Not the End of the World?" "Receptacle for the Respectable," "Presidential Suite," and "No! Sympathy," should be incompatible because of their lofty ambitions and influences, but they're not. Perhaps when steeped in lush arrangements and soul-satisfying melodies, the incongruous becomes congruous. At least that's the case here.—MP

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