Gruff Rhys, 'Hotel Shampoo' (Wichita)

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Hotel Shampoo
Critical Mass
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Label: Wichita

by Marc Hogan

This madcap Welshman collected 15 years of complimentary cosmetics, displayed them in an art gallery, and then released a companion album of whimsically rewarding, mildly schizophrenic psych-pop. Of course he did: Whether driving a military tank through Glastonbury or recording a synth-pop tribute to playboy '80s auto mogul John Delorean, Super Furry Animals' frontman makes the gimmicky sublime. Pilfering lounge, folk, and Tropicália, Rhys sumptuously accommodates Swedish songstress El Perro Del Mar and -- metaphorically, at least -- "Christopher Columbus."

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