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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Skylarking

XTC

1986

Skylarking

Album Summary

Skylarking is the ninth studio album by the English rock band XTC, released 27 October 1986 on Virgin Records. Produced by American musician Todd Rundgren, it is a loose concept album about a nonspecific cycle, such as a day, a year, the seasons, or a life. The title refers to a type of bird (skylark), as well as the Royal Navy term "skylarking", which means "fooling around". It became one of XTC's best-known albums and is generally regarded as their finest work.Like XTC's previous Dukes of Stratosphear side project, Skylarking was heavily influenced by the music of the 1960s. Most of its recording was at Rundgren's Utopia Sound Studio in Woodstock, New York. Rundgren played a large role in the album's sound design and drum programming, providing the band with orchestral arrangements and an assortment of gear. However, the sessions were fraught with tension, especially between Rundgren and bandleader Andy Partridge, and numerous disagreements arose over drum patterns, song selections, and other details. In 2010, it was discovered that a wiring error made during the mastering process caused the album to have a "thin" sound. The problem was corrected on subsequent remasters. Upon release, Skylarking was met with indifference in the UK, rising in the album charts to number 90, while both of its lead singles "Grass" (backed with "Dear God") and "The Meeting Place" peaked at number 100. Early sales of the album were hampered by the omission of "Dear God" from the album's original pressings. In the US, the song became a college radio hit, causing US distributor Geffen Records to recall and repress Skylarking with the track included, and propelling the album to number 70. Following the song's growth in popularity, it was the subject of controversy in the US, inspiring many angry phone calls to radio stations and at least one bomb threat. Skylarking was later listed on "100 greatest albums of the 1980s" lists by Rolling Stone in 1989 and Pitchfork in 2002.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.07

Votes

4733

Genres

  • Rock
  • Pop
Reviews
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View Author
Wed Mar 03 2021
5

An old friend of mine and his father were into XTC, but I never listened to them. Let me say: what a fucking album. It flows together incredibly, the sound is somewhere between Genesis, The Beatles, and Duran Duran, and this thing has hooks for days. Blown away, really. Favorite tracks: "That's Really Super, Supergirl", "Ballet for a Rainy Day", "Earn Enough for Us"

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Mon Sep 06 2021
2

For the longest time, XTC was "bad Tears For Fears" in my mind, and I never actually sought to listen to them outside of Dear God; listening to this has kind of reinforced that idea, and Dear God isn't even *great*.

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Wed Jan 12 2022
5

XTC released a lot of memorable records in the 80's and Skylarking might be their masterpiece. It's a lush sounding album that highlights the band at their height of creativity. Not a record full of hits, it's a consistent, solid album that flows beautifully and Dear God is one the most interesting (and greatest) songs the band has ever produced!

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Sun Feb 14 2021
4

Such an interesting and fun album about nature, love, and simpler times from 80z gems, XTC. I love GRASS! Multiple other favs on this cool album are The Meeting Place, Ballet For A Rainy Day, Season Cycle, Earn Enough For Us, Big Day, and Dying. I remember when single Dear God first got air play and I was like "wow!" and "what?" Still such a unique and thought-provoking song. XTC continues to be a band one can get deep into. Sometimes at first listen it's easy to miss something. Look at all of these 80z bands standing out from this list. So excellent!

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Fri May 13 2022
3

Inoffensive very 60s but pretty bland

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Thu Mar 25 2021
2

“Skylarking” by XTC (1986) First time listen for this album and group. The question is, which album am I listening to here? The original vinyl release (without “Dear God”), the updated release (with “Dear God” but without “Mermaid Smiled”), or one of several digital re-releases which have “Dear God” in various positions among the last four tracks (or simply tacked on at the very end in the Spotify version)? For a concept album, it makes a huge difference, especially since “Dear God”, “Mermaid Smiled”, and “The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul” are the three most interesting songs on the album. What we have here is twelve pathetic attempts to sound like the Beatles, supplemented by three works of genuine creativity. In terms of sound, this album lacks melody, coherence in chord progressions, and meaningful lyrics. It’s tough to make up for these huge deficiencies with innovative color, but they try. The end result is like a palette without a canvas. “Dear God”, despite all the “controversy”, is a sophomoric and self contradictory squeal about the problem of evil as evidence against the rationality of belief in God. There are much better treatments of this theme in contemporary music (John Lennon’s “God” on “Plastic Ono Band”, for argument-ending instance). I wonder if Virgin intentionally created the controversy as a marketing strategy. Now, “Mermaid Smiled” and “The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul” are definitely worth listening to, despite the extraordinarily weak vocals. But two tracks do not an album make. 2/5

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Thu May 06 2021
2

Shame, I really wanted to like this. XTC have done some brilliant stuff; 'Love on a farmboy's wages' is still one of my very favourite songs after 30 years and I play several of their other singles regularly. This album was entirely unknown to me and I'm disappointed - I was hoping to discover some new gems. Maybe it needs more time to grow but in comparison to the obvious immediacy of their other work, it seems pretty weak. Some occasional nice stuff, but only serving to highlight how poor the rest is.

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Tue Jul 06 2021
2

Moderately enjoyable but pretty forgettable

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Mon Sep 06 2021
2

basically every track on this album is "X but worse" whether it's the beatles, bowie, whatever. the only really good song wasn't even on the album at first.

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Sun Feb 14 2021
1

No. Just no. Please please no. NEVER AGAIN

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Fri Mar 12 2021
5

Everything pop could be. Amazing.

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Wed Jun 30 2021
5

This album was awesome. It varied enough in style to keep me entertained the whole time, and had some really cool grandiose bits. Definitely will listen to this album again

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Fri May 14 2021
5

5* for Dear God alone, the rest is pretty sound too.

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Fri May 14 2021
5

Excellent start, just a couple of (slightly more than usual) weird tracks in the middle but still really really good.

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Mon Aug 23 2021
5

Mermaid Smiled is so good. Dear God is so great. Every song is different and kept the whole album very enjoyable to listen to

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Sat Sep 11 2021
5

An incredible combination of great songwriting with new wave/psychedelic sounds ingrained in the 80s. The lyrics are incredibly poignant and feel very fresh even almost 40 years later. Dear God is 80s equivalent of Pure Comedy from Father John Misty. Highlights: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 14, and 15.

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Sun Dec 12 2021
5

incredible album, every song was banger after banger 10/10

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Thu Jan 06 2022
5

So fun and so 80s; absolutely incredible instrumentally

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Wed Feb 16 2022
5

This is one of the best pop albums I've ever heard. This kinda thing is why I do this 1001 album challenge; to find albums I'd never find otherwise. I don't ever listen to music like this, so I never would have found this alone. It's fascinating how so many songs are so catchy and yet so unpredictable; the melody often wanders to places you don't expect. It's quite refreshing to hear pop music that's actually interesting. reminds me of The Seeds Of Love by Tears for Fears

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Wed Feb 16 2022
5

I liked the creativity and variety

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Thu Feb 17 2022
5

q surpresa agradável

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Thu Feb 17 2022
5

Os tons verdes da capa desse álbum foram bem escolhidos - esse LP me dá vontade de fazer uma agradável caminhada no mato. Excelente introdução pra uma banda que eu nunca havia realmente parado pra escutar.

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Sun Mar 06 2022
5

I think this is the fourth or even fifth listen through of this one, and suddenly I like it, I like it a lot.

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Fri Mar 25 2022
5

Grass is my favorite.

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Wed Mar 30 2022
5

One of my all time favorites

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Wed Apr 13 2022
5

Delightful. Once again, I wonder why I wasn't in love with this band in college. They're great!

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Wed Apr 13 2022
5

I remember XTC being a band, but only recall hearing Dear God. The album sounds like one that I would have acquired back in the day had I known it. Kinda quirky with and upbeat happy vibe. I like it!

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Wed Apr 13 2022
5

Oh, this album was a breath of fresh air. I know for a fact that had I known it existed in 1986, it would have been a favorite. Why did it take this long? Interesting instrumentation, interesting lyrics, and all so enjoyable I listened to it four times today. "Umbilical" is much more fun to say when it rhymes with "cycle." Favorites are "Grass," "Ballet for a Rainy Day," "Season Cycle," "Mermaid Smiled," "The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul," and "Dear God," but there's not a song I don't like. It's so much fun to get an album I've never heard before that I love so much!

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Wed Apr 13 2022
5

What a weird, varied, and fantastic album.

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Fri Apr 29 2022
5

Many would consider this unpopular pop but I love it the arrangements are beautifully presented and you can sense Todd Rudgrens production presence. A mix of genres like psychedelic rock and alternative pop, as well as a sound I can only describe as spacey, I love this record! My favs were Dear God and The meeting place!

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Wed Jun 01 2022
5

I have always loved this release. XTC has always defied categorization. Each song exists as stand alone gems. Smart pop? Chamber pop? Whatever we call it works for me. Also, Todd Rundgren as producer is a good match for the guys.

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Thu Jun 23 2022
5

New Wave megalith XTC takes a left turn after their last album, taking inspiration from late 60's psychedelic pop. This sound is a perfect fit the songwriting talents of Andy Partridge, who expertly weaves various different sounds in and out of each song. Listening to Skylarking feels like listening to something special, like what the Beach Boys' Smile was meant to be. It genuinely feels like there are no low points in this album. Excellence.

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Wed Aug 24 2022
5

cool

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Thu Sep 01 2022
5

Fantastic album! The first time it was okay, but the second time I listened to it was amazing. Can’t wait for the third try. The start of the album is the best and dear god is a good finish. Love the way some of the songs flow over into eachother. Favourite songs: - Summer’s cauldron - Grass - The meeting place - Dear God Honourable mention: ballet for a rainy day + 1000 umbrellas

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Sun Sep 04 2022
5

An awesome album and XTCs best in my book...and that's saying something. This album is legendary for the acrimony between band and producer, Todd Rundgren. Apparently Andy Partridge and Rundgren were at each other's throats throughout the sessions. I don't know what the source(s) of the conflict were, but if music this inspired is the result then it was well worth every hurt feeling and acrimonious gesture. This is the album where XTC picked up the gauntlet of best British Psychedelic Pop band since the Beatles threw it down oh so many years ago. And I feel like Rundgren plays no small part. Favourite songs; Grass, Supergirl, Ballet for a Rainy Day, the jazzy The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul, the brilliant Dear God (which was not included on the original release and frankly seems a little out of place with the albums theme) and Sacrificial Bonfires. But really pointing out individual songs defeats the point of this album as every song is a little pop gem that deserves rapt attention. No brainer 5 stars.

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Sun Sep 04 2022
5

So I've straight up never heard of this band. Never heard of the album, never heard any of the singles. And it was terrific. It's like a Talking Heads sort of thing, with a lot of cool vocal harmonies. Like if the Beach Boys were an 80s new wave band. Anyhow, loved it.

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Sat Dec 19 2020
4

this was kinda cool, soft rock-ish stuff meets soft jazz kinda like mr bungle does in parts (for want of a better frame of reference). would listen again 4/5.

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Fri Apr 16 2021
4

i like this

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Thu Feb 11 2021
4

leuk maar beetje ouwe lullen muziek

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Fri May 28 2021
4

Super good. Never really listened to them much before.

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Tue Jun 22 2021
4

This was way ahead of its time

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Thu Mar 18 2021
4

Groovy, pool vibes

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Tue Mar 23 2021
4

Surprisingly good.

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Wed Jun 02 2021
4

Not bad. interesting and weird style

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Mon Jun 07 2021
4

Summers Cauldron and Grass feel like a part 1 & 2 of the same mellow opening. The Meeting Place takes the next step in the journey. Ballet For A Rainy Day into 1000 Umbrellas is a fun counter point to the front of the album, though i like Ballet as a song better than 1000 Umbrellas. Then the album takes this really weird psychadelic space turn culminating in Another Satellite. Mermaid Smile has a great guitar intro. Cool concept album overall, one worth revisiting but first blush is a meh. Yea without Dear God as the final track, how does this album wrap itself up?

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Tue Mar 30 2021
4

Sounded like the Beatles.

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Sun Mar 21 2021
4

Quite pleasant. Would listen again.

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Thu Jun 17 2021
4

gostei, daora

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Wed Mar 31 2021
4

really enjoyed this group all though I had never heard them before. Putting them on my play list.

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Tue Mar 30 2021
4

Good albumm.

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Thu Apr 22 2021
4

Atmospheric post-pop landscapes punctuated by gorgeous storytelling.

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Tue Jun 08 2021
4

Interesting album. At times it sounds very modern (especially the production) and at other times they invoke the Beatles or the doors. Lyrics are a bit weak at points but the majority of songs are clever and catchy. Probably a 3.5 but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt because it's different enough.

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Wed Apr 28 2021
4

Sounds like something I get recommended by a Twitter mutual and end up liking. 'Dear God' is my favorite.

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Sat May 15 2021
4

I feel a bit let down by the end of this album. It just went on a few tracks too too long. That's preventing me from giving it 5 stars. But I still loved it. 1. Crickets... Become fun 80s thumps... Becomes foot-tappin' pop! 2. Smooth transition to another pleasant ditty. Eno/Byrne vibe. Crickets out. 3. Another similar vibe---this one like a machine made of pleasant and well-fit cogs. I am loving this 4. And it keeps getting better. There's this video-game organ sound in the background which I love, but it's disguised in the mix so that the whole song just sounds goofy and fun. Oh my GOODGod that guitar solo slipped in. I'm drooling. 5. Slowing it down a minute. Makes sense, because that last song was a very tough act to follow. 6. Smooth transition to this song which is somehow miserable and goofy at once, kind of a masterpiece. I love the descending riffs and violins, which remind me of gentle giant. 7. Beach Boys?! by the way, Every once in a while this album surprises you with a disgustingly pretty jazz chord, and it's just the best. 8. Woah, straight up 80s guitar pop. Still stuff to love here, but it's comparatively a bit generic here. 9. The comparative slump did not last long. Love the opening here. This song is a whole different vibe---something a bit "Revolver". 10. Space song! 11. High energy space-pastoral 12. Weird change of pace: noir to funky jazz, partially in 7. This one felt a bit out of place. 13. Ballad... Might be about death? A weaker track 14. Funny orchestral piece 15. Starts with a child singing (meh). Kind of an atheist anthem---seems a bit preachy (lol).

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Thu May 13 2021
4

Really interesting production on this album. Pushes boundaries just enough not to reach pretentiousness all while keeping a level of character and charm.

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Thu Jul 15 2021
4

Todd Rundgren helps this album. As a thematic piece, it has a Beatles Sgt Peppers vibe that finishes weaker than it started. Dear God feels thrown in at the end - which of course it is and while it's a good song, it doesn't feel connected to the album. 3.5/5

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Tue Jul 27 2021
4

Enjoyed this. Not heard of this band before and was pleasantly surprised.

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Sun Aug 22 2021
4

Slow to start but all comes together nicely post 1000 umbrellas. Ballet for a Rainy Day and The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul were my highlights. Also loved the string arrangement in 1000 umbrellas. Get around that Todd Rungren production.

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Tue Sep 21 2021
4

I actually really like the sound of this

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Wed Nov 17 2021
4

Rating: 8/10 Best songs: That’s really super,Supergirl, Earn enough for us, Dear god

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Fri Nov 19 2021
4

First time listener - new fan of this album. I feel like this album would have held up in any of the decades that followed its release in '86. It sounds very 80s, but - at the same time - very current. If the right bands covered these songs today, they'd be huge commercial success, IMO. Plus, the vocal remind me of Ben Folds.

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Fri Nov 19 2021
4

What a brilliant idea. Start a record with summer cricket/bird songs. That way, every listener comes into the music with a happy feeling. And then, deliver with some good 80s pop music. I like this music a lot. I'm really pleased with the amount of British pop music on this list. Makes it worth the list's Janes Addition addiction. I have always heard about XTC but the name made me think they were goth or glam or something. Nope! They sort of sit nicely between Psychedelic Furs and the early 90s Britpop movement for me. There are so many sounds on this record that sound like they significantly influenced...wait for it...I say it all the time............Blur! Who cares? I do say it all the time. But, it's true and it feels like I found a new Blur record. "That's Really Super, Supergirl" sounds like it could be on The Great Escape. XTC is a band that will be in rotation for me. For sure.

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Mon Nov 22 2021
4

Rather enjoyable.

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Fri Dec 03 2021
4

4/5

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Sun Dec 05 2021
4

Classic

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Sun Jan 09 2022
4

Pop-rock suavecín. Me ha gustado.

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Sat Jan 22 2022
4

Enjoyed this. I just want nice rhythmic jangle pop that chugs along at a good pace. I don't want my ears blown off with guitar wankery or stupid drumming. Maybe a bit pedestrian at sometimes but couldn't ask for more from a jangle pop band

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Fri Feb 11 2022
4

Ekalla kierroksella kuulosti aika peruskamalta, mutta kun tokalla kertaa kuunteli keskittyneemmin, niin biisitkin tuntuivat paremmilta ja tuli noteerattua taustalla hiljaisempiakin instrumentteja. Loppujen lopuksi päädyin tykkäämään!

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Thu Feb 17 2022
4

gostar

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Wed Feb 23 2022
4

Nada a ver com que eu costumo escutar, mas gostosinho demais

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Wed Mar 09 2022
4

The album is neurotic and baroque at the same time, like 1000 Umbrellas, and which will remain one of the milestones of pop. …Produced by Todd Rundgren.(7/10) FT: Dear God, 1000 Umbrellas

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Wed Mar 09 2022
4

Rocked! Really enjoyed it

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Wed Mar 23 2022
4

Perhaps the best Beatles record not made by the Beatles, this is maximalist chamber pop that veers into overindulgence now and then. Partridge sings like McCartney and writes songs like Lennon. There’s real joy and some pathos, and the quality is sustained at a high level across the record even it’s occasionally too clever by half. 4.2 for 4.

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Wed Mar 30 2022
4

XTC is one of those bands that I enjoy when I hear them, but have never heard more than a handful of songs. So, I was glad to have the chance to listen to an entire album. I thought it was excellent. 4 stars.

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Fri Apr 08 2022
4

A decently catchy album. Nothing groundbreaking, but enjoyable.

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Wed Apr 20 2022
4

I had no idea what to expect from this album but it was pretty good. I really liked 1000 umbrellas and the rest of the songs were enjoyable too

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Thu Apr 21 2022
4

Solid and enjoyable album with some Britpop and 60s pop elements. I can't tell you why I like it specifically but I can tell you that I do!

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Thu Apr 21 2022
4

Really intriguing album!

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Wed May 18 2022
4

This album is lush and complex. It foreshadows quirky, witty and nuanced indie groups like Dirty Projectors, Grizzly Bear, The Antlers etc. XTC was definitely ahead of their time.

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Sun May 29 2022
4

Probably my favorite XTC album. Never realized Todd Rundgren produced it, but it makes sense that he'd be the perfect fit for their unique arrangements and structures. Too bad he and Andy Partridge didn't get along, but they ended up making great work together.

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Sun Jun 05 2022
4

I know a good amount of XTC but the only track I knew from this one is Dear God, which I've never been a fan of. Happily the rest of the album was much better to my ears, it's all quite smooth and poppy compared to their earlier post punk work but the tunes are great.

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Wed Jun 29 2022
4

Actually really enjoyed this one

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Thu Jun 30 2022
4

May downgrade later but really enjoyed this yesterday

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Thu Jun 30 2022
4

I liked this one! Reminded me a bit of the Flaming Lips.

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Thu Jun 30 2022
4

I quite enjoyed this. The vocals weren’t amazing, but the instrumentation was cool.

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Thu Jul 14 2022
4

Probably my favorite XTC album

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Wed Jul 20 2022
4

This is the real indie, very weird and relatively unsuccessful in its time. I liked it, it seemed like a genuine product of unique individuals.

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Wed Jul 27 2022
4

I like this a lot. Very eclectic with interesting arrangements and great melodies.

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Thu Jul 28 2022
4

Kooky and catchy

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Fri Jul 29 2022
4

Occasional diatribes against God aside, this is a fun, intelligent, hook driven smart pop record with plenty of wit and verve. It is fascinating to see the move away from the early spiky punk to something more mellow and finely crafted. A great reminder that not all albums from the eighties were terrible.

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Fri Aug 05 2022
4

Lovely, smart, quirky pop songs. Lyrically clever, absolutely beautiful arrangements. There's a complexity and depth to these songs that lends itself to repeat listening. The album is new to me, but I imagine you could listen to this many times over and find something new and interesting every time. It's that kind of album. Fave Songs: Season Cycle; Ballet for a Rainy Day; 1000 Umbrellas; Sacrificial Bonfire; That's Really Super, Supergirl; Big Day. I didn't include "Dear God" in my rating, which wasn't on the original version of the album. It's the best song on the album, really brilliant. But musically it sounds like it doesn't belong with the others.

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Thu Sep 01 2022
4

Wow. A genuine find here. I sort of knew about XTC ('Making Plans for Nigel' etc), but had never troubled to explore further. Rundgren I met thanks to an earlier selection of 1001. 'Dear God' has left me in a puddle of inchoate emotion

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Fri Sep 09 2022
4

A really solid album with some eclectic songs. I’ve never listened to this band before. I’m going to check out some of their other albums.

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Fri Sep 09 2022
4

sounds felt like a modern twist on the Beetles. kept getting their melodies triggered.

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Sun Sep 11 2022
4

Beatlesque in the best possible way. Lush and layered and sweet-natured, with the exception of the stunning and irreligious closer, "Dear God." Partridge is a skilled lyricist (with a slightly endency toward cuteness [e.g., "pushing the pedals on the season's cycle"]) and, as a chamber pop composer, knows how to make excellent use of the strings. It approaches a kaleidoscopy swirl at times, which was cutting-edge in the day but still works pretty effectively, thanks to very strong overall content and strong production.

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Fri Sep 16 2022
4

This was a new one to me, I knew of XTC but was only familiar with a couple of their hits. I really enjoyed it, kind of like a weird cross over between Tears for Fears and the Beach Boys. Definitely think I'll be back for more of this, and will check out their other albums!

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Thu Sep 22 2022
4

Way better than I was expecting. Definitely going into my regular rotation.

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Fri Sep 23 2022
4

Ethereal. Makes me feel like I'm floating on clouds, maaaaaan. "Dear God" is one of the best songs of all time. So good in fact, that it has a two paragraph long "Controversy" section on Wikipedia - that's how you know a song is bangin'.

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Fri Sep 30 2022
4

I've listened to this band more this year than any other. While Earn Enough for Us & Dear God are the radio friendly hits, I'm blown away by 1000 Umbrellas. I love the strings & structure of the song. I'm wowed! Love me some XTC.

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Fri Sep 30 2022
4

4.2 - It might take a few minutes to get back into to this 80s pop sound that's a blend of INXS, Tears for Fears, Simply Red and other adult contemporary acts of the era. But the songs and the themes definitely warrant a close listen. The observation that this record feels like a "summer day baked into one cake" is an apt one. There are copious references to seasons, weddings, grass, rain, the ocean, punctuated by sounds of buzzing insects, waves, fire. I especially love the two-song suite of "Ballet For a Rainy Day" and "1000 Umbrellas" that explores the pleasures and pains of love. The latter song features some strange and intricate strings and vocal harmonies that are remarkable. I also love the synthesized drone in "Another Satellite" that evokes ocean waves, combined with staccato xylophone and Beach Boys-style harmonies. A couple of cloying moments ("That's Really Super, Supergirl", "The Man Who Sailed...") don't do enough to detract from an overall refreshing record.

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Sun Oct 02 2022
4

Summer cauldron- samples are ingenious here👍 Grass- catchy but not my thing The meeting place - the bells in the chorus really remind me of the ring doorbell sound That's really super, supergirl - love the production on this one, is quite kitsch Ballet for a rainy day - great imagery in this song👍 1000 umbrellas- lots of strings on this one, very angst Season cycle- V cute👍 Earn enough for us- vocals a bit whiny on this one Big day- cynical wedding songs are not my genre. Another satellite - gotta respect dedication to the metaphor👍 Mermaid smiled- more tropical instrumentation diversifies this song The man who sailed around his soul- almost a bossa nova feel here, enjoyed this track👍 Dying - quite simple musically. Lyrics capture that some memories remain in your mind however trivial Sacrificial bonfire - sounds like a song in a shit musical about pagans Dear God- bars at the end tbh👍 I liked the first side more but all in all a very pleasant listening experience Very Beatles esque 4/ 5

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Thu Oct 27 2022
4

Pretty good, enjoyed listening to 80's Brit sound

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Fri Nov 04 2022
4

Couple of these songs really pulled me into alternative music in the late 80s, notably Dear God. These guys were ahead of the game in my book, especially when you think about bands like Modest Mouse, Death Cab, and the Indie movement that emerged in the background of the 1990s. Not to mention some pretty good guitar work.

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Fri Nov 11 2022
4

This was a lush well orchestrated album that reminded me of The Beach Boys with English folk revival and experimental folk like the Kink’s ‘Village Green Preservation Society.’ The biggest issue for me was the length and the fact that the album sounded a bit dated. In its greatest moments, it was absolutely gorgeous.

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Mon Nov 14 2022
4

I’m more familiar with their earlier stuff, but this was excellent.

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Wed Nov 16 2022
4

i love that xtc

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Wed Nov 16 2022
4

I have a feeling that the more I listen to this album, the more I’ll like it. On my first listen, it had enough high points that I don’t remember the lows, but it was by no means perfect

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Sun Nov 20 2022
4

Enjoyable enough. 7/10

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Sun Nov 20 2022
4

7/10. Some of the songs were really good, others rather annoying. Still, didn't know I knew and liked so many XTC songs

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Fri Nov 25 2022
4

I remember liking -- and probably owning? -- this album when it was released back in the 80s. It came out at a time when I was into this kind of pop and even though it's been decades since I've listened to it, it holds up better than I would've expected. My present-time ears hear a little too much of the typical mid-80s production things (sorry, not well-versed in music production so I can't name the techniques, but it seems around the kind of effects they use, the synths, and the mixing), so that sets it back a wee bit for me, but overall this shows some really nice songwriting and performing. But to this day, 'Dear God' is one of the finest songs I've ever heard. It's still brilliant to me.

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Wed Oct 21 2020
3

The Wikipedia page for this album compares it to both "Smile" and "Abbey Road." It's not nearly that interesting. My opinion of it improved after a second listen, but not appreciably so. Best track: Sacrificial Bonfire

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Mon Jun 14 2021
3

Está agradable pero no podría decir que me gusta. Lo que más me molesta es que ya llevo muchos tibios treses ultimamente. Sube a momentos arriba del 4 y luego cae a 1 o 2.

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Tue May 04 2021
3

it was pretty good

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Wed Apr 21 2021
3

un po' impersonale ma ascoltabile

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Mon Jun 14 2021
3

Dudo que hay algo mejor del género early alternative.

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Thu May 27 2021
3

"Super, Supergirl How you stopped the universe from dying But you're never going to stop me crying" (That's really Super, Supergirl) La verdad es que un poco meh, me da la impresión de ya haber escuchado este disco 20 veces entre los 1001 mejores.

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Thu Apr 15 2021
3

not a super memorable album. Starts off strong, but then bubbles into forgetfulness. British 80s new wave stuff.

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Sun Apr 04 2021
3

80s bratty jangles

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Thu Feb 11 2021
3

I started off skeptical, not really interested, but as it continued I really got into some of it. Synthy and experimental. Another Satellite was catchy

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Tue Jul 06 2021
3

This seems like an album that would need multiple listens to appreciate. On first listen it's alright but nothing special, despite the glowing critic reviews

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Sat Jun 19 2021
3

Not sure where this sits, some OK ideas but neither prog nor indie

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Sat Jun 19 2021
3

Very English in a Kinks/Beatles style. Listenable. Interesting to read about writing, production and release issues.

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Sun Apr 04 2021
3

Ok

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Thu Mar 25 2021
3

Nice soft rock, interesting church sounds in some songs.

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Thu May 06 2021
3

I quite enjoyed this. It reminded me of things I used to listen to in the early 2000s. Like Eels etc

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Tue Jun 08 2021
3

3. it's fine, pleasant enough. ends on one of their big songs which gives it a bit of a nice send off.

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Thu Jul 01 2021
3

Interesting but nothing special

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Wed Jun 09 2021
3

Enjoyable listen throughout, but not sure I would return too often

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Mon May 10 2021
3

Meh.

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Tue Jun 29 2021
3

New wave/prog crossover, pretty cool but kinda drags

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Wed May 26 2021
3

Pretty good, funny lyrics, listenable

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Thu Jul 08 2021
3

New wavey and very British. It’s okay.

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Thu Jun 17 2021
3

Extremely well produced alt-pop record here - I went reading into it on wikipedia and the story behind the production here and the relationship between band and producer is really fascinating, would highly recommend. The album is pretty good, with a few catchy tunes - but it's not really my thing.

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Sat Jul 03 2021
3

need to listen again

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Thu Aug 05 2021
3

I dig how psychedelic this can get, but I don't love it. S'okay.

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Thu Aug 05 2021
3

Probably my favorite XTC record. Quirky. 7/10

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Sat Aug 21 2021
3

2.7 Enjoyed it being in the background. But it wont earn a spot in the my memory as something I should listen to again. The last song I've played countless times without tying it to an artist.

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Tue Aug 24 2021
3

Some stand out hits like "Dear God" and "That's Really Super, Super-Girl", but the rest lyrically and vocally wasn't there for me. Some cool instrumentation though

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Mon Sep 06 2021
3

Pleasant but alright

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Tue Sep 07 2021
3

I'll always enjoy some XTC, even if I discovered them in reverse via Shriekback and still think I prefer the latter group. There aren't too many standout moments here, with the exception of some of the melodic lines in Earn Enough for Us. It's a tad overstuffed, reminding me of Out of the Blue nine years earlier. However, the genre influences here suit better. In an alternate variety, it's XTC instead of Lennon that draws pointless ire.

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Sat Sep 11 2021
3

I liked the way it started off. I got kinda bored towards the middle of the album as some of the songs felt samery, but it picked up again pretty hard near the end. I just didn't really enjoy the main singer's voice, and I thought it brought it down. I really really liked the instruments and sound that they had. Plus the album had a nice vibey energy to it. Overall though, I thought it was a decent album. Favorite track: The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul

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Wed Sep 29 2021
3

I liked it, but its not for me... right now

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Thu Nov 04 2021
3

Nicht schlecht aber auch kein wirklicher burner

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Thu Nov 04 2021
3

Ganz cooles Album, aber schon crazy

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Fri Nov 12 2021
3

Solid production but didn't take my breath.

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Sun Nov 14 2021
3

Interesting album. Didn't love most of it, but had a couple really cool tracks ("Dear God").

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Wed Nov 24 2021
3

It's pretty funny that right after a '60s influenced album from the '80s, I got another '60s influenced album from the '80s. But while I hated The La's self-titled album, this one is pretty good (note: The La's self-titled was released in 1990, but recorded in the '80s). It's another pop-rock album, with influences from the '60s psychedelic rock acts, Pink Floyd, Beatles, and most notably, The Beach Boys. As far as I can hear, this is most likely a Beach Boys-esque album. But that doesn't mean that the album only copied the styles and sound of other bands. It's has an entirely new sound. And that alone impressed me. I would love to enjoy this album, but unfortunately, '60s sounding pop-rock vibes are probably not my thing. But I can see why it is included in the list. The production and the instrumentals are all interesting, and it has a few personal highlights, particularly the fun first five tracks, the slightly trippy "The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul", and the originally unreleased and unsurprisingly controversial "Dear God".

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Wed Dec 01 2021
3

I'm not sure about this one at all really. I think I enjoyed it? Maybe? But also maybe not. Cool sounds but didn't love it.

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Fri Dec 03 2021
3

Not bad

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Wed Dec 08 2021
3

This album had some major hits and major misses, much like the entire 80s musical genre. Season Cycle gave me major Beach Boys vibes which I loved. 10000 Umbrellas had me confused. I would listen to a few of these tracks again but not the entire album.

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Wed Dec 08 2021
3

Another easy listen that was very enjoyable

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Sun Jan 02 2022
3

Cest pas pire, mais pas plus. 3.15

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Mon Jan 03 2022
3

I enjoyed the listen, but I don't think I am going to revisit the album or the artist again.

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Fri Jan 07 2022
3

alright. quite liked and then started to dislike it.

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Fri Jan 07 2022
3

This seems like a pretty accomplished and interesting album... but it's not really doing it for me. The lyrics are fascinating, the arrangements are fun, I like the singer's voice but overall it's not really my jam. I can't imagine ever listening to this for fun, or in fact, ever again...

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Thu Jan 13 2022
3

Clever

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Fri Feb 04 2022
3

Varied and energetic - I thought it might be along the Morrissey line, but it ended up being a bit more interesting in my mind.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
3

Never knew I knew any of these - quite enjoyed

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Sun Feb 20 2022
3

Sei não...

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Wed Mar 09 2022
3

Talking Heads vibes? I think? Or maybe I'm confusing with Flaming Lips? Either way, pretty fun and upbeat but not my usual style. 3.5

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Thu Mar 31 2022
3

This reminds of that Prefab Sprout album, minus the emotional elevation that made it feel so triumphant. Yet another '80s britpop album on the list. Obviously I enjoy it to a certain degree, but it also becomes harder and harder for these to stand out. A few tracks on here I dug, even though the rest of it felt pretty bland. Hard to say what would have made this better, but it's still pretty good. Favorite tracks: Dear God, The Main Who Sailed Around His Soul, Big Day, That's Really Super Supergirl. Album art: Really like the colors on this one. The texturing is cool too. 3.5/5

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Thu Mar 31 2022
3

This album was listed as alternative but it feels more like something you'd hear at some 80's dive bar or night club. Very interesting and quirky, like many of the others that have been popping up. I wouldn't consider this worthy of this list but it was enjoyable.

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Thu Mar 31 2022
3

Dear God was a great story telling song! Also liked Sacrificial 🔥 Bonfire. Very interesting album, each song was different than the last one. Never heard of this band but found it intriguing to listen to. Super, Supergirl!!

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Wed Apr 13 2022
3

I hadn’t listened to this group before. It’s a happy sounding album, even when the songs deal with misery, breakups and death. The lyrics are rambly and witty, with an interesting 60s-meets-the-80s feel to it all. The song I really liked I learned was left off of the original release and hastily re-added after its success as a B-side in the US, “Dear God.” Ironic because this is the song I see myself revisiting from this album. There were a variety of instruments and arrangements, but struck me with a sameness that felt less interesting to me than it should have. I couldn’t help but feel underwhelmed.

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Wed Apr 13 2022
3

Es interesante

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Wed May 04 2022
3

The jazz elements of the album stopped me giving it a 4 star.

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Wed May 18 2022
3

It’s interesting, the many directions that the ‘new wave’ bands of the 70s wandered off in. This has a psychedelic, sixties, almost orchestral pop feel, with hints of the Beatles (especially Ballad for a Rainy Day followed by 100 Umbrellas). Dear God is a great song and I especially like bringing in a guest vocalist. It was the only song that caught my attention on the first lesson, but everything’s better second time around.

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Fri May 27 2022
3

A few bops. Real fuckin 80s tho

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Sun May 29 2022
3

I can appreciate what their going for, but it's not my thing. A bit too poppy.

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Sun May 29 2022
3

Not unpleasant, but forgettable.

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Thu Jun 30 2022
3

3.4 - decent album. Good melodies and interesting transition from the beginning to the end. Really enjoyed the final track, “Dear God”.

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Thu Jun 30 2022
3

I find XTC weird...I didn't dislike anything, but I also just find everything a bit off-kilter in a funny way. I dunno.

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Thu Jun 30 2022
3

Some ok parts but nothing to write home about.

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Fri Jul 08 2022
3

Not bad, but quite an "easy to forget" album. At least it ends with an absolute banger.

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Sun Jul 31 2022
3

I swear I tried to like this but I find XTC one of those impossible bands that most of my friends love that I just don't get.

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Fri Aug 26 2022
3

Weird but good

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Mon Sep 05 2022
3

Such mixed feelings. The album flows incredibly well but the album is kind of a mess. Then again, it is skylarking.

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Fri Sep 09 2022
3

A few enjoyable songs

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Thu Sep 15 2022
3

An odd'un. I enjoyed every minute of this album as it went past, but simultaneously don't remember much of it now it's passed. I love the idea of a song cycle as life span, and I *think* they succeeded here, but equally I can't remember if they did... It's mostly just nice, rather than mind blowing. But I can live with nice. Going to come back to it and see if it grows.

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Wed Sep 21 2022
3

Great XTC songs are true gems to be admired, but there is a quality to most of their music that is best described as "circus-like" which I cannot stand. Both are present in this record.

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Fri Sep 30 2022
3

Dear God is a beautiful ambitious song - hard to believe that they almost left it off! And the rest of the album is not too bad. Definitely original

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Fri Sep 30 2022
3

Expectations are a b. I knew Dear God and love the song. Knew nothing else about the band. Was expecting an angry punky gen x brit vibe and the album was a lot more like Sgt Peppers in the park on a Sunday. It was light and fun and the music was good. Wish the whole album had a Dear God vibe to it though.

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Sun Oct 02 2022
3

Pop treballat però afable, d'estiu crepuscular. No hi ha temes que destaquin molt per sobre dels altres, però és un treball elegant, sofisticat i d'escolta agradable. El treball de producció de Rundgren es deixa notar i és un disc d'aquells que millora a cada escolta

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Wed Oct 12 2022
3

First listen. Never heard of them. Decent British stuff.

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Thu Oct 13 2022
3

Interesting listen. I'd heard the name of the band before but wasn't familiar with their music. It was interesting, pretty inoffensive stuff. Could be put on the background and let it fade. Nothing really stood out for me. Perfectly bland middle ground.

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Sun Oct 23 2022
3

Stylish but the only read stand out for me was Dear God

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Fri Oct 28 2022
3

A breezy 1960s-esque quasi-psychedelic soft rock record. Pleasant and enjoyable with nice harmonies and interesting instrumentation. Tailed off a bit towards the end. I thought the band name sounded like a mobile phone until I said it out loud. Now I get it. Rating: 3.5/5 Playlist track: Grass Date listened: 27/10/22

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Fri Nov 04 2022
3

Nothing really grabbed me but it wasn’t terrible either. I really have nothing to say about this one

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Sun Nov 20 2022
3

pretty catchy, but the lyrics did get on my nerves. 6/10

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Sun Nov 20 2022
3

Highlights: That's Really Super, Supergirl, 1000 Umbrellas, Earn Enough for Us.

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Tue Apr 20 2021
2

Started off strong but quickly got into everything I hate about the 80s

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Thu Mar 18 2021
2

eh

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Sun Feb 07 2021
2

One standout song. The rest felt a little bland.

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Tue Apr 20 2021
2

ok album. does this need to be on this list?

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Thu Jun 17 2021
2

meh

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Sun Jan 24 2021
2

Decent pop rock, I should dive a bit more to.

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Wed Jul 21 2021
2

Opzich wel fijne britse sound, maar mij te poppy

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Sun Jan 31 2021
2

Boring

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Tue Mar 23 2021
2

sigh

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Tue Apr 13 2021
2

I don't remember anything from this album

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