The Ruby Suns were formed in New Zealand by USA-born multi-instrumentalist Ryan McPhun.
They debuted with the catchy and eccentric Ruby Suns (2005).
Sea Lion (2008) was an attempt at bridging world-music and
baroque pop, loosely aligned with the
Animal Collective ideology with a
Alien sounds hijack the otherwise gentle elegy Blue Penguin and
spaced-out vocals tame the otherwise propulsive There Are Birds.
The slow and stately Remember sounds like a requiem from another galaxy,
and Kenya Dig It? sounds like a Beach Boys "greatest hits" played on an orbiting satellite.
The peak of anti-arrangement is reached in the floating wails and tones of the
mood piece It's Mwangi In Front Of Me.
the Ruby Suns strike gold when they abandon the brainy/hippy attitude and
just let their eccentric ideas flow. That more spontaneous attitude yields
the demented tex-mex serenade Oh Mojave and the
accordion-based Latin singalong Tane Mahuta.
The cyclic, hypnotic
Ole Rinka is reminiscent of exotic-tinged easy-listening music of the 1960s.
The techno beat that emerges out of the chaos of Morning Sun belongs
to another album.
Fight Softly (2010), basically a Ryan McPhun solo album,
was a fatally different album, cold and distant pomp. Not even
the Brazilian-tinged syncopated fanfare of the single Cranberry manages
to sound cheerful. It simply sounds derivative and predictable.
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