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After a short run of albums that found Super Furry Animals exploring their slower, more ponderous side, Hey Venus! sees Wales's heady psychedelic explorers revisit the bright melodies and glammy bounce that powered earlier albums like 1999's Guerilla and their fondly remembered debut, Fuzzy Logic. While a vague sort of concept album, following the narrative of a character, Venus, as she moves from a small town to a great metropolis, Super Furries know enough about songcraft not to let the backstory overshadow the melodies. "Run-Away" comes on like Queen and the Beach Boys jamming on a Christmas Top of the Pops, "Neo Consumer" is a pile-up of infectious vocal melodies, singalong choruses, and electronic blips that stubbornly refuses to outstay its welcome, and as is customary these days, Bunf gets a chance on the microphone for the profoundly odd "Battersea Odyssey." And to play counter to all this cheer and exuberance, there’s a pair of late-doors slowies, "Suckors" and "Let the Wolves Howl at the Moon," that usher the album to a serene close. Eight albums in and we're still waiting for Super Furry Animals to deliver a dud album; at this rate, it's never going to happen.
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