Label: OVNI Release date: 26/07/10 Buy: Amazon Written by Marc Thomas Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen, 1983. A thirteen-year-old boy sits in maths looking out of the window at the grey sky in Gwynedd, Wales. It’s raining and the kid, ignoring whatever his teacher says, is gazing into his future. “When I grow up,” he thinks to himself, “I’m going to make an absolutely mental concept album with a Brazilian TV-repair man who I can’t communicate with.” That must have been what Gruff Rhys was thinking. I hate The Terror of Cosmic Loneliness,’ but I love listening to it. There’s something very refreshing about an album which is so incredibly rough-cut but yet well produced at the same time. The combination of an instrument created by Da Gatorra, a cross between a guitar and a drum machine, together with incredibly tight drumbeats makes certain that there’s a certain level of addictiveness to this album. The single, ‘In A House With No Mirrors’ is a laidback electric blues song mixed with punkish elements and lyrical styling’s similar to Dylan’s ‘Modern Times.’ Typically eclectic in the actual content, Gruff Rhys manages to sing about how, “In a room full of turtles, you stood on a toad,” and that, “in a house with no mirrors you never get old.” I think that it is highly unlikely that these lyrics mean anything, but they sound absolutely fantastic over the ohrwurm of a song. Altogether, the album has a considerable charm despite being so piecemeal and without melody for the majority of the tracks. Although the album artist is listed as Gruff Rhys & Tony Da Gatorra, for the most part, Gruff Rhys takes a back seat in the singing leaving it to his incredibly inept wingman. It’s true that singers in romantic languages often have trouble making their music sound very good at all but the Gainsbourg family managed well in French. Tony Da Gatorra doesn’t fair as well as his francophone counterparts. What he does is put a vague tune to his repetitive statements about, from what I can divine, peace, love and mercenaries – he does so all in his mother tongue, Portuguese. As I said earlier though, I love to hate this album and I hate to love it. It’s horrible with the exception of ‘In A House With No Mirrors’ and yet I feel very much drawn to listen to it over and over – 4 times in 24 hours in fact. Straight through. On the other hand, were it not for the hype surrounding this album and the fact that I like Gruff Rhys a lot, I would not give this album a second chance. The Terror of Cosmic Lonliness will take a bit of hard work to love, but once you get past the initial thoughts of how much you dislike Tony Da Gatorra’s singing, it’s actually quite loveable. Photobucket