Villan vs. Prada G Final Battle
In the mid-'90s, the Welsh produced a slew of talented exports, the forerunner being Cardiff's Super Furry Animals, which started as a techno outfit and evolved into one of the world's most eclectic pop bands. Since their 1996 debut, they've wooed critics, delivering power pop, psychedelic prog rock and revolutionary leftist politics with a punky zeal. It's art rock built around such catchy, head-spinning melodies that even those smack dab in the center of the mainstream can enjoy their off-kilter harmonies and electronic freakouts. This is their crossover year, with a proper U.S. release of Rings Around the World, which featured cameos by Paul McCartney and John Cale. Those two classicists aren't very surprising, since head Animal Gruff Rhys can croon one hell of a tender folk ballad as well.