Nonsuch kicks off with the marvellously melodic trio of ... Peter Pumpkinhead, My Bird Performs and Dear Madam Barnum, before slowing down the tempo for the elegiac Humble Daisy ("I'll sing about you if nobody else will").
The intelligent and thoughtful Smartest Monkeys and The Disappointed follow, the former being a wry social commentary without the Phil Collins-type insincerity. Similarly, Holly Up On Poppy is a song of parental love and affection that cleverly (and thankfully) sidesteps the cloying sentimentality that often characterises such efforts.
The diversity and range especially typical of latter-day XTC is well illustrated by the next three songs. Crocodile is a straightforward, snappy (sorry) and punchy track, while the string-laden Rook is stark and meditative, and Omnibus is jaunty and lyrically obtuse.
From the sweeping That Wave and hook-laden Then She Appeared, through the jazz-flecked (and slightly dull) War Dance, we reach the magnificent, Bacharach-esque Wrapped In Grey. Possibly the LP's centrepiece, WIG is a life-affirming clarion call to thinkers and dreamers everywhere, featuring some of Andy Partridge's most evocative lyrics (e.g. "How coloured the flowers all smelled / As they huddled there in petalled prayer"). In fact, in terms of lyrical content alone, Nonsuch as a whole is one of XTC's very finest.
The LP winds down with the just-plain excellent The Ugly Underneath and slightly bizarre yet moving Bungalow, before Books Are Burning draws the set to an initially eerie but ultimately joyous conclusion with a guitar solo 'duel' between Messrs Partridge and Gregory. Atypical, but wonderful.
In summary? Well, put in the simplest terms I can conjure up, Nonsuch is yet another superb LP from one of, if not THE most consistently imaginative and interesting bands of the post-punk era. Nothing short of genius, in actual fact.