Rings Around the World is the fifth studio album and the major label debut by Super Furry Animals. Released on 23 July 2001 by Epic Records in the United Kingdom, it was the first album by any artist to be simultaneously released on both audio CD and DVD. The record reached number 3 in the UK Albums Chart and includes the singles "Juxtapozed with U", "(Drawing) Rings Around the World" and "It's Not the End of the World?". The album, which singer Gruff Rhys describes as "a very ambitious project", was recorded between April and September 2000 at Monnow Valley Studios in Rockfield, Monmouthshire, Wales and Bearsville Studios, New York with the band acting as co-producers alongside Chris Shaw. The majority of the songs on Rings Around the World were written by Rhys on guitar and piano with keyboardist Cian Ciaran contributing "[A] Touch Sensitive" and "Miniature" as well as collaborating with other members of the band on "Run! Christian, Run!", "Alternate Route to Vulcan Street" and "No Sympathy". Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney and former Velvet Underground member John Cale make cameo appearances on the album. Musically Rings Around the World is an eclectic record incorporating pop, prog, punk, jungle, electronica, techno and death metal. Rhys has offered several explanations of the album's lyrical content, claiming the record is "about Earth, and the pollution of space" and also that it addresses the human condition. Critics meanwhile have referred to the record as "thematically eccentric" and lacking an "overarching theme". Critical reception was generally positive, with the album being nominated for 2001's Mercury Music Prize and placing at #1 in Mojo's "best albums of 2001" feature. Some reviews claimed it to be the best record of the band's career although the NME described it as the band's worst album.Wikipedia
I was expecting electronic music going by the cover, but instead it's more UK rock. This shit all just sounds the same - it's not bad, but I'm bored of the sound. It's really.... pretentious/ambitious/etc, but it's actually just long, pompous pop songs and a lot of samples, vocal layering etc. I mean there's a song called "juxtaposed" ffs. 2/5. Would have been a 3 but it just goes way too long.
Listenable but not likeable.
What's this? Cover looks like potentially electronica? No. I mean yes, but really, no. Also, no thank you. This album is a mess. Nothing especially landed with me, and nothing made it gel as an album either. I didn't hate ever song, but also none were outstanding. Surely there are 1001 albums in the world better than this one.
I'm down with vagueness, especially when it corresponds to ambiguity, but this type of unplaceable nostalgia is all artifice. It's a distancing act between perfomer and audience, form and meaning. It's a period piece made solely so the performers can raid the costume cupboard. It might be tolerable if they weren't so insist that "floaty" and "evocative" are the same thing.
Right up my alley. Loved the switches between harmonic and abrasive sounds
So far this has been the most unexpectedly amazing album on the list. How have I not heard about this album? Loved it.
I need to listen to this again, there’s a lot going on here, but in a good way. I feel like I hear twenty different acts that influenced this, and also at least twenty other acts that were influenced by this. I’m impressed. It’s getting a 3 today, but I expect that score to increase the more I listen to it
this album is okay some songs sound really good but there’s a lot of elements on here that remind of the beach boys and that’s not bad but I think they could have been more original with this psychedelic sound as this album is made like 40 years after The Beach Boys were active. There’s some songs on here that I don’t enjoy but most of them are good or okay especially the last 4 songs or so I really liked da . 7/10
I still really don't like this group. Although this album sounds more psychadelic/spacey a la Flaming Lips and is better than Fuzzy Logic, I still find the lead vocalist's singing to be annoying and I could barely make it thru the entire album.
Somewhere in the territory between boring and actively unpleasant most of the time. Genuinely my favourite moment in this record was the second or so of silence between the end of the dire Receptacle for the Respectable and the start of [A] Touch Sensitive.
It's... it's really boring, isn't it? SFA doesn't seem capable of committing to a bit. Consequently, the album slips and slides from one flavor of mediocrity to the next without leaving any lasting impression whatsoever. I can't give it a one-star review because there's not anything actively BAD about it other than it's just not good.
A failed attempt at fusing and melding different music styles. No place on this list.
So little for me to enjoy with this one.
Honestly one of the best albums I’ve ever had the pleasure to listen to. It’s fun, every track has incredible song progression, and it never gets stuck in one specific sound.
Genre bending prog that's full of surprises. His voice reminds me of Damon Albarn at points but really doesn't sound like anything I've heard before. Some of the songs are hilarious in both their writing and progression, like the industrial noise outro of No Sympathy that transitions into the lounge strings of Juxtaposed with U. Also loved the places that Receptacle for the Respectable took me. Presidential Suite also gets an honourable mention. Loved it all.
I think this solidified my love of the Cool Cymru movement. Phenomenal stuff, psychedelia that isn't all about the trip if that makes sense.
I truly wasn't expecting the wide variety of styles in this album, or how they'd be so artfully combined into a cohesive album that managed to hang together despite covering so much musical territory. I will definitely revisit this album going forward, as well as tell others to check it out. Top Track - No Sympathy.
first of all i’d been wanting to check out super furry animals some time soon so i’m glad they were recommended to me today when the genre said rock i was kinda worried bc i don’t like anything too heavy but this was a pleasant surprise. rly chill, rly enjoyed listening
Blunt vocals coupled by translational instrumentals scores. Appreciated each song of this album for its different moods. Can’t complain about any part of this album.
Really interesting. I personally loved the cinematic feel to this album
Neat rock album! Very interesting. Not a bad track on the album.
Nice memories of this one
Probably my favourite Super Furries album, and I'm pretty sure I saw them live on the tour supporting it, and that was one of my all time favourite gigs. Fave track - "Run! Christian! Run!" - absolutely blew my tiny mind when I saw it live, and it's been one of my favourite tracks by any band ever since....
It’s a surprise to have a second Super Furry Animals album. I’m curious to see how this varies from Fuzzy Logic. Right away I noticed the difference. Some cool harmonies - “Rings Around the World” is like a 21st successor to The Beach Boys by way of ELO with the noise turned up. I love it! Nice harmonies throughout, some clever lyrics, and a whole lot of great sounds to take in. Horns that could have come from Burt Bacharach, lounge music, grinding guitars, electronica, beach-friendly harmonies, weird sci fi effects and a lot more merge into some catchy, catchy songs. Really unique and really wonderful! Speaking of lyrics: “You expose the film in me” “I got some feelings I can’t get through, I’ll just binge on crack and tiramisu” “You came to me in peace and left me in pieces” “I’m not in love with you, but I won’t hold that against you” “With knives to their throat they’ll depart on the midnight train to Jordan” “But I’m in Deep Space Nine, Hitting wormholes all the time” And how about that ending to “No Sympathy”?! YES! Then dive into the oh so robot lounge-y “Juxtaposed With You.” OH YES! The 1001 gods have been serving up some good, unique albums lately. When I first saw this I worried it wouldn’t hold up. I’m glad to find it’s a great album I’m very happy to have around!
Generally, and typically excellent, but gets an extra star for Run Christian Run, which is up there as one of my favourite tracks ever
Very good! They are wild and contained at the same time. I am glad I discovered this band.
such a versatile album. i will be looking into their discography. AND they’re a welsh band with a punk-left grunge feel, i fuck w it.
I love how damn tangible and chunky this album is, like a colorful toy from the 1970s that's been cleaned up and made better.
One of, if not the very, finest Welsh bands ever, duking it out with the Manics. Such a great body of work.
Pleasantly enjoyable. Like a fusion between ELO and post-AM Arctic Monkeys.
Pretty cool with some tracks I didn't like
Great songs, production could make more of the lovely voices.
Fedt album. Mange gode harmonier og gode numre. Har en specielt blandingslyd. Desværre lider nogle af numrene lidt for meger af eksperimentering til at give top karakter. Men absolut et godt album. 4 stjerner måske 4.5 efter flere genemlyt
At the height of their powers. Such an enjoyable album! Freaky and wavy and odd, but also just lovely pop rock songs. I have overlooked the lyrics before, but there is some great stuff in there.
This was new to me, and I really enjoyed it. I like when bands can navigate little experiments and moments of genre bending as seamlessly as they do. They really caught my attention at "[A] Touch Sensitive" and perhaps my favorite was "Juxtapozed with U."
This is why I’m doing this project. I’ve never even heard of this group let alone listened. This is wild.
Chill and I liked all the places it went.
I wasn't aware of this one and it turned out to be a very pleasant listen. The mix of songs is very eclectic with each one sounding significantly different than the previous- keeping the listener on their toes. I'll revisit this one for sure.
A wide range of sounds and genre mix-ins, pretty interesting. I had never heard of these guys before. Smooth listening, catchy melodies.
Probably my favorite album so far on this journey. I liked how many different influences you could hear. I had never heard any of these songs before, and that makes me sad. Will be listening to this again. Top 3: Alternate route to Vulcan Street, Receptacle for the Respectable, [A] Touch Sensitive
Just a whole lot of fun. Beautiful melodies giving way to strange, psychedelic riffing. The vocal timbre of the singer is also pleasant. Really enjoyable!
Surprisingly down to earth, and VERY funny!
Kinda weird, but I liked it.
Just my kind of vibe. Gives me very big Moody Blues energy with a modern twist. I wanna dive deeper into these guys.
Brilliantly Beatlesque in places, electronically wacky in others. Eclectic!
really enjoyable! first time listening to supper furry animals.
RATW introduced SFA to a wider audience with more of a polished sound that didn’t take away from their previous eccentricities. Great singles including Juxtaposed & End Of The World while the country tinged Run Christian Run was a mellow direction for them. Their run of albums including RATW is sublime, sensational band. SFA OK!
I really liked this album. I had heard Juxtaposed With U, but not really too familiar with the Super Furries apart from that. It was definitely up my street. Gorgeous and mellow, with lots of interesting instruments.
This is a new artist and new music for me. Some of the tracks remind me of things that I listen to. "No Sympathy" starts off sounding like a something from Phish in the mid-nineties, finishing with a twist ending (not so much like Phish). "Juxtapozed with U" reminded me of some of the music from Damon Albarn and the Gorillaz. "Alternate Route to Vulcan Street" was a good way to start the album. We'll call that track my "favorite" for the album. The album was interesting enough that I'd probably listen again. (3.5 stars)
Pleasantly surprised by this one! Very 2001 in its deployment of techno-city. Got a lot of late stage Elvis Costello in this. And more than anything, really loved Shoot Doris Day. I may start listening to this band!
Good background rock music, would listen again
Pretty varied album, good work background music.
I hear some Manic Street Preachers in their sound. Maybe Oasis too. 70s AOR. Mr. Bungle. Turns out they are from Wales. Will be checking out more of their material.
Some great songs. Goes to places I didn't expect. Benefits from multiple listens.
Really enjoyed this, but felt it fell off a bit towards the end.
ONE OF THOSE GREAT 90s EXPERIMENTAL ROCK ALBUMS THAT EXTOLLED THE VIRTUES OF FREEDOM.
Way more exciting than I thought Super Furry Animals were, loved the breakdowns and different styles in the songs.
Really enjoyed this one.
-Really love how the tempo of the drums in the first three songs slowly increased -Obvious Beatles influence -Sings very much like the guy from Blur and Radiohead -Really interesting and new seems to challenge the boundaries of music with panning and dominant drums and bass, recommend to sam -Really like how it has such a wide assortment of musical styles on it yet you still manage to feel that it is all part of the same album because of the constant drums.
Wow, i wasnt expecting this at all. I kept my hand in my chest all time. A great record
Glad I got to hear this band that I didn't knew existed. They reminded me of blur, so it was cool.
Another tough one. I wasn't familiar with and really liked it, so definitely 3.5. As I sit here the next day, I DO actually want to listen to it again, so it's getting a 4. An interesting sound overall, I'm not even quite sure how to describe it. Indie rock I guess, but it doesn't have that worn out generic indie rock sound? It had a touch of weirdness to it. I dunno, pretty good though.
Overall a good album. Very eclectic. I didn’t like it all but I did like most of it. I could listen again.
Bit weird sounding at first, with ProgRock/Psycholedia/Instrumental parts mixed with some slow ballad-type songs but if one embraces the weirdness it ends up being quite a nice ride
😎 Surprising good 😎
I like it! Similar vibes to early OK go and Flaming Lips
Really solid album with very cool instrumentals and themes. Lots of fun and catchy songs
Pretty good! I enjoyed what I listened to. Will revisit.
Britpop albums like this have had a mixed record with me so far, but this is one of the good ones. The vocals sounded like the Doves and the production was a lot more abrasive and electronic than I expected. Fav songs: a touch sensitive, run! Christian, run!
Like a happy OK Computer with awkward lyrics - it’s better than expected
Huge "Spiritualized" vibes on this one. Very chill listen.
Would have rated it higher on the memory of loving it 20 years ago, but it is not quite a five star record for me now. Still really enjoyed it though, and hope more sfa comes up in future. Favourite songs were the (sort of) title track, juxtaposed with u, and run! Christian, run!
Surprised I missed this when it first came out. There are elements of many different musical tastes throughout the (very expansive) album. It's like lounge-Beck w/ mixtures of jazz, folk, and mellow rock. I'm listening to the 20th-anniversary release, which includes remastered and remixed versions (not sure if those are included in the original.
Out there, maaaaaan. Reminds me of Pulp, the Beatles, and the Flaming Lips in distinct parts. Very trippy. Slightly overstays its welcome, but still a pretty neat listen. Favorite tracks: "A Touch Sensitive", "Subway Serfer Girl"
Awesome, SFA are the best band out of Wales, Manic Street Preachers are really the only other I know… It’s really a fantastic record, Gruff Rhys is a genius. So many styles from acoustic ballads, techno beats to metal screaming it’s all here.
I actually liked it. Good vibes and lyrically fun. I enjoyed the layers textures of sound. It reminded me of another band that I can’t put my finger on…
4/5. Solid pop rock/ a lil experimental.
Another great find!
Far lovelier than I remember, and I remember it being nice anyway.
Not sure it will make it into my rotation, but it was rich and diverse. Surprising and pleasant.
I never listened to this band much when they were putting stuff out, and - honestly - I probably would have hated it at the time. But now, it’s hitting me at the right time. I can’t even explain what I like about it - the music is cool, there is some fun wordplay, but nothing objectively special. Still - I really like it.
Lovely off-kilter indie rock from the pre-Funeral era. Brings me back to a time alongside Elephant 6 that I have a lot of nostalgia for.
I like this one about as much as I liked their "Fuzzy Logic" a few months ago. This one seems a bit more serious but I can hear the influence of decades of pop music behind them. I don't know that I could pick one of their songs out of a musical line-up but I enjoy listening to them.
This was alright. Not trippy but kind of fun.
Só conhecia Hello Sunshine deles. É um bom álbum, leve e meio melancólico. Melhores músicas: Sidewalk Serfer Girl e It's not the end of the world?
really enjoyed it
road trip music - want to watch the DVD!
Foolishly, I’ve avoided this band because of their name. Recently a friend sent me a bunch of their video clips, which i discovered are well worth a look. Having finally listened, I find that I’ve fallen in love with this album. There are so many highlights. Juxtaposed With U sounds like a great Burt Bacharach composition. I love No Sympathy. The instrumentation & harmonies in it remind me of Crosby, Stills & Nash. In fact, the harmonies are generally wonderful and they combine with the full-on psychedelic approach of the band to create a great sound. There’s something schizophrenic about Sidewalk Surfer Girl. It wants to be soft & sweet and loud & noisy at the same time. Beachboys go metal. And a big mention to Run! Christian! Run! and my favourite lyric - on the midnight train to Jordan. This album was recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios. I can recommend a doco doing the rounds about that Great Welsh institution. So glad I’ve discoveed this album.
Playful, eclectic & unpredictable. I dig it