Ireland's answer to the Incredible String Band, Dr. Strangely Strange engaged in the same type of psychedelic acoustic music with folksy arrangements. With traditional instruments like penny whistle, fiddle, harmonium, and mandolin, Dr. Strangely Strange was more solidly rooted in melody and structure than the group's flaky Scottish counterparts. Produced by British modern folk guru Joe Boyd, "Kip of the Serenes" is built around simple and repetitious melodies occasionally interrupted by stream-of-consciousness musical and lyrical diversions. This simplistic approach would be abandoned with their 1970 follow-up, "Heavy Petting", which saw their first partnership with electric guitarist Gary Moore.
Gus Gus' second album, This Is Normal, heralds their discovery that they are first and foremost a pop band. While the spacious, sophisticated electronica they developed on their debut (Polydistortion) is still evident, This Is Normal's smooth, streamlined finish has more than a nodding acquaintance with dance-pop. Though Normal is certainly less weird than its predecessor, it remains floating outside of the mainstream, but swims a little closer to it. Looking to explore individual normality within the album's 11 tracks, Gus Gus' multiple singers and songwriters expound on sex, fame, youth, and love. "Ladyshave" features sly vocals from Daníel Ágúst and a slightly kinky premise, while Hafdis Huld's breathy soprano elevates "Teenage Sensation," "Superhuman," and "Blue Mug" to an icy, remote beauty. As with Polydistortion, Gus Gus continue to be more convincing on their albums' quiet, introspective moments.