Wasp Star (Apple Venus Vol.2)
|Price:||£19.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details|
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Frequently Bought Together
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1 x CD Album
|3||In Another Life||3:35|
|4||My Brown Guitar||3:51|
|6||I'm The Man Who Murdered Love||3:44|
|7||We're All Light||4:39|
|8||Standing In For Joe||3:42|
|10||You And The Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful||4:18|
|11||Church Of Women||5:06|
|12||The Wheel And The Maypole||5:55|
The subtitle is perplexing: though apparently intended as a companion piece to XTC's 1999 comeback album Apple Venus Volume One, the songs on Wasp Star have little to do with the pastoral orchestrations of Apple Venus and much more in common with the XTC albums that preceded it, especially Oranges & Lemons and Skylarking. This is altogether welcome news, of course: though nothing XTC have ever put their name to has been dull, their greatest strength has always been fairly straightforward pop songs with subtle kinks in the musical and lyrical structure (think "Senses Working Overtime", "Love On A Farmboy's Wages"). The finest moments of Wasp Star--notably the epic pop hymn "The Wheel and The Maypole" and the spectacularly titled devotional "You And The Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful"-- stand comparison with those or any other of XTC's many finest hours. That, in pop terms, makes the best moments of Wasp Star about as good as it gets. --Andrew Mueller
Top Customer Reviews
After losing many hours/days over the past year listening to 'Apple Venus Vol. 1', I am now facing the not unpleasant prospect of losing even more time in the coming months. 'Wasp Star' is an album full of blind curves that you negotiate at full speed, rounding them to discover yet another tune that grabs you by the head, heart and feet. I am already considering filing for compensation for excessive wear and tear to the carpet under my feet in front of my favourite armchair. RSI may result as your toes tap madly. Depression may set in as you realise you will never be able to write lyrics as well as Mr. Partridge and Mr. Moulding. But hey, your goldfish still loves you...... 'Wasp Star' has moments that make you recall the masterworks from earlier XTC albums; cooling, soothing reminders from a growing catalogue of treasures.
Listening to 'Wasp Star' will leave you with a profound sense that you have just been given privileged access to the creative pipelines that perforate the brains of the XTC boys. I am hard-pressed to name any other band that has been so consistently wonderful over the past 20+ years. What a way to start a new century (or have we?).
Buy the album. Your ears will fill with sweetness. Trust me, I'm not a doctor.
As the years progress, the distinct styles of Colin Moulding and Andy Partridge sound further and further apart. Vocally, you need 'em both to create that XTC sound, and as a duo the XTC concept still works on that level; the guitar parts which once screamed with melody and hooks are now pushed into second place by the vocal, a rather obvious move. Now that they've switched back to the guitar-based song medium, is Dave Gregory's presence missed? Undoubtedly. But I'm sure they're aware of this, because the songwriting and arrangement have been locked-up tight.
Highlights: "Playground", great pop/rock, and the unusual (for XTC at least) presence of female backing vocals - courtesy of Andy's daughter, Holly - which lighten the proceedings no end. "You And The Clouds..." is also damn funky and this is a perfect showcase for Andy Partridge's lyrical intellect. "Church Of Women" is another lyrical triumph, and "I'm The Man..." is the exactly the sort of great, happy, euphoric, anthemic XTC pop song that the public at large has been ignoring for the last 20 years or so. Fools! Their loss...
Downside: "Stupidly Happy" tries to dress up two chords with a gradual build up of musical layers; it worked on Vol. 1's "River of Orchids", it flounders a little aimlessly here.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
despite having everything XTC and the dukes have released for some reason i never got round to buying this.
don't know why as its a cracking finale! Read more
Only 4 stars this time because this album has to compare with vol 1 and it loses out.Despite it's superbly crafted songs I feel the lush orchestral arrangements of vol 1 are... Read morePublished on 7 Jun. 2008 by bish
XTC's last original long player is a fine record full of big Beatlesque pop hooks and fully realised arrangements. Read morePublished on 10 Mar. 2008 by Mr. Christopher J. Welch
When you consider the quality of his songwriting over the years, why is there not a statue to Andy Partridge in Trafalgar Square? Read morePublished on 12 Aug. 2007 by Wowbagger the Infinite
After waiting the better part of a decade for a new XTC album to come along, two emerged in quick succession. Read morePublished on 14 Jun. 2006 by Shaun Anderson
Wasp Star features at least four great songs - the opening salvo of Playground and Stupidly Happy, the singalong I'm The Man Who Murdered Love and the closing The Wheel And The... Read morePublished on 5 Mar. 2001 by knowledeayton