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Amazon's XTC Store


Image of album by XTC


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XTC hailed from Swindon to cultivate a legacy of highly original British pop born from their early punk/new wave roots in the late 70s. Their angular yet melodic songs, lead by distinctive jagged riffs boasted the catchiest of pop sensibilities which was then injected with an edginess by the darker overtones of astute and often political lyrics. Throughout their career, from the jerky earlier ... Read more in Amazon's XTC Store

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for 121 albums, 9 photos, discussions, and more.

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Amazon.com: 1 review
XTC Bring Out Both Their Sweet And Sour Sides On The Dawn Of Their New Age 12 Nov. 2014
By Andre S. Grindle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
As one of the foremost indie bands of the new wave era in the UK,XTC had made something of a reputation for themselves as a consistent touring unit. As well as even the occasional hit maker. During the early 80's,the band began to shed members. And the weight of the group settled on the creative core of the band instrumentalists/songwriters/vocalists Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding. They were basically the Lennon/McCartney of the band. And their personalities even shared similarities to that as well. Of course another similarity to the Beatles was about to emerge. Later citing withdrawal from the pain killer Valium (to which he'd become addicted) as a reason,Andy Partridge suffered a mental breakdown. Still wishing to work with his mates in XTC,he and the current band decided to retire from touring and become a studio bound outfit. As with any band that does this,the changes in their music were more than a little pronounced!

"Beating Of The Hearts" is a powerfully melodic opener that blends everything from gypsy folk,Arabic and new wave melodic and rhythmic ideas into an instrumentally swelling sound. "Wonderland" is a beautiful and tranquil minimalist electro pop number (one of my very favorites by the band)-with alternating synth bass and higher pitched bubbling tones. "Love On A Farmboy's Wages" is a mixture of countrified folksy guitar melodicism with a pop/rock refrain. "Great Fire" is an upbeat melodic guitar pop number while "Deliver Us From The Elements" is a dramatic,choir based piece with a rather desperate vocal and lyric from Moulding. "Frost Circus" is an ambient synthesizer based instrumental-sounding something like a haunting merry-go-round. "Jump" is another melodically upbeat with a strong South African township flavor about it.

"Toys" is a soulful,bluesy number-which uses a metaphor of toys in a nursery to deliver a clever anti war message. "Gold" is a booming horn based 60's uptempo soul with a funky guitar accent. "Procession Towards Learning Land" is a rhythmic instrumental based on electronic call and responses between synthesizer and drum machine. "Desert Island" is a sweetly melodic calypso oriented piece while "Human Alchemy" mixes Irish and Aboriginal Australian style folk musics that delivers and poetically scathing attack at the concept of the slave trade. "Ladybird" is a breezy,swinging piano based melody while "In Loving Memory Of A Name" (another favorite of mine here) delivers another anti war message,this time from the viewpoint of a deceased soldier's family and friends to a very upbeat Beatlesque piano based melody. The crashing pianos of "Me And The Wind",along with it's slippery bass line blends modern classical and jazz fusion while "Funk Pop A Roll",a tight jangle pop number takes a stab at commercial radio at the time.

Truth to be told XTC used the studio in the exact same way as the Beatles did when they stopped touring-very much as a playing desk. The difference was that Andy and Colin had access to the burgeoning new technologies of digital sampling,rhythm and musical encoding. This album not only took in rhythmic,melodic and instrumental ideas from around the world and combined them into captivating pastiches,but it also clarified some of XTC's growing consciousness. Most of these lyrics are less punk/new wave anger and dourness. But are rather poetic reflections of the what has gone wrong,what is happen and what could be with the human race. And even with all this? The general atmosphere is a very pastoral and whimsical one. The drum and guitar sounds are never particularly overwhelming. Everything is a counterpoint to melody and rhythm. Maybe it's just my personal admiration for XTC's musical progression that has me thinking...well I just wish more rock albums were presented like this one!
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