Top positive review
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Soundtrack to a lazy day in the back garden in the summer
on 21 October 2004
OK, so, before I begin this review, I must confess that I am not a big XTC fan - I am unable to tell you about how this album stands up to Skylarking or Enlgish Settlement, or how the mental breakdown suffered by Partridge during this album's recording is portrayed through the sound - I only know that Partridge actually had a breakdown at this time because I've read the other reviews of this album! So, what I AM able to do then, is review this album solely on it's own merits. And on it's own merits, it's a corker. More or less all of the songs on Mummer (apart from the closing Funk, Pop a Roll, which is really out of place and is a bit anti-climactic to be honest)are wonderful little pop nuggets that could have been accidently dug up when a farmer has been gathering in his crop of potatoes, they're THAT countryside-y. "Love on a farmboy's wages", which I think was a single but knowing XTC would've sold about twelve copies regardless, is a little ditty about the difficulties of settling down with your loved one when all you have the skill to do is be a farmhand, which naturally pays a pittance ("Shilling for the fellow who brings the sheep in, Shilling for the fellow who milks the herd" is half of the chorus). "Ladybird" is a song about a ladybird, simple as that. It's the sort of album that you stick on at 10 in the morning on a day in July when you have nothing planned and think "Hmm, what shall I do today?", then you hear a song like the aforementioned "Ladybird", and think "Sod it, I'll just have a read and a doze in the garden", and grin smugly to yourself because you know damn well that no one else around has heard the marvellous Mummer, and you grin smugly because you know that their lives are just a little less happy, and just a little less easy to bare than yours.