January 26, ; C-Noise, December 3, ; Listology, November 16, ; Rhapsody, circa ; Village Voice, circa ; 24, Dischi, October KamerTunesBlog, July 25, ; C-Noise, May 16, ; Listology, November 16 , ; Being There, circa March ; 24, Dischi, October ; Hurtmore!. 24, Dischi, October ; Hurtmore!, October 26, ; All Music Guide, circa ; Insubstantial, September 20, ; The Ultimate Mellotron Recordings.

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In their crusade to make the entire musical world safe for pop, XTC’s new album must be counted as a major conquest. Taking off from their last foray, English SettlementXTC here take on even more potentially arcane musical themes and production techniques and beat them into accessibility. The result is a lot more than the whacked-out art-pop which usually pigeonholes the band.

240000 By now their empire embraces art-funk-rock-jazz-reggae-tribal-British traditional-pop-folk and psychedelia, all mixed into a completely unselfconscious brew. On their first four albums, XTC’s big trick was to make odd music that never seemed willfully so.

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Instead of coming off as weird-for-weird’s sake, they made their hyper-quirkiness seem like a committed life philosophy. Their nervous little hooks came like rabbits out of hats-unexpected and magical.

On English Settlement, they used a greater variety of disch and smarter production techniques to shake things up even more. Colin Moulding switched to a jazzy, fretless bass, Terry Chambers since departed picked up primitive African and British traditional percussion and Andy Partridge employed a sharp acoustic guitar-given special up-front prominence by the 3-D production tricks of Hugh Padgham.

On the new LP produced by Steve Nye the sound has less separation but each instrument still retains its own voice in the joyful clutter There’s a distinct sax honking in the background of “Great Fire”, along with some tongue-in-cheek strings.

In “Human Alchemy” there’s a reggae guitar and “art-rock voices-from-heaven tossed in with new technology” drones. The fun part is, you never know what you’re going to hear next.

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L’OASI DEI DISCHI IN VINILE

Today, XTC are making more “progressive” music than ever with nary an ounce of unworthy pretension. For them, the future is wide open. Laughs “Wonderful – XTC. I like the band because they always do the opposite of what you expect.

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XTC is a lesson in real English cleverness. The boys are so clever and smart that the press have great problems with them.

I don’t like everything vischi their albums, but you can find some absolute jewels. I think “Great Fire” and this song are fantastic. I also love the sound of their acoustic guitars.