Album: Praxis Makes Perfect
Record Label: Lex Records
Gruff Rhys and Boom Bip recount the life of Italian Revolutionary Giangiacomo Feltrinelli amidst a set of beautifully catchy synth- pop
Neon Neon (that is Super Furry Animals' Gruff Rhys and Electronic visionary Boom Bip) have a penchant for bringing obscured historical figures back to life via keyboards, narrative wordplay and ludicrously catchy tunes. On 2008's "Stainless Style" they examined the largely debauched life of Car visionary and playboy John DeLorean. On "Praxis Makes Perfect" however, affairs take a rather more sincere turn as they attempt to bring the topsy- turvey life story of Italian publisher and Communist revolutionary Feltrinelli to our soundsystems.
They conduct their mission with an expertise in simple but charming, glacial and infectious '80s Electro- Pop. "The Jaguar" is full of cloudy synths and nifty keyboard noodling, and possesses a titanic hook (a fundamental ingredient throughout "Praxis Makes Perfect"). A similar trajectory is explored on "Dr. Zhivago", which implores the immortal quip "Dr. Zhivago, I'm just waiting for my cold embargo to be lifted." Songs like "Hoops With Fidel" expose meticulous insights into the inner circles of Feltrinelli's mind, whilst the sparse robo- pop of "Shopping (I Like To)" provides wit, humour and melody.
By the time closer "Ciao Feltrinelli" comes around, you feel like you've had the most interesting and overwhelmingly joyous History lesson ever. "Ideas don't need a vessel, don't decay... but refine... and echo...", intones Rhys softly and prolifically. Feltrinelli's legacy certainly isn't lost on these two, nor will it be on you should you choose to invest in this extraordinary but excellent piece of work.
Key Tracks: The Jaguar, Hoops With Fidel, Shopping (I Like To)
For fans of: Metronomy, Duran Duran, Pet Shop Boys