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If you’re the type of person who likes to listen to the same music that doesn’t deviate from the sounds and feelings that you’re familiar with, Gruff Rhys isn’t for you. If you are a little more adventurous, however, and like to throw yourself out there to find something different, then Gruff Rhys has made your job a lot easier on his third solo album, Hotel Shampoo.
No two songs sound similar to each other on Hotel Shampoo, and every song brings in different elements and sounds that the listener could not expect. Songs like “Take a Sentence” showcase a dramatic piano contribution, but on more upbeat songs like “Honey All Over” percussion takes center stage accompanied by melodies produced on an electric keyboard. These are sounds that we hear all the time though.
Rhys makes his biggest impact by bringing in sounds that we recognize but rarely hear on serious albums. “Sensations in the Dark”, a song about discovering new music, has a mariachi-flare to it. The vocals for “Christopher Columbus” dance over sci-fi inspired sound effects. When was the last time you heard Columbus’ oceanic trek sung over sounds that are similar to Star Trek.
Hotel Shampoo isn’t an album for idle listeners. All of the different sounds and styles present make it an album that you’ll want to devote your attention to from start to finish.
Listen to "Sensations in the Dark":