These songs are orphans, tunes without a particular project, which may mean that Wasp Star is an album of moments, but there's plenty to cherish here. After all, most pop bands would give their eyeteeth to have songs as smart, melodic, and memorable as "Playground," "Stupidly Happy," "My Brown Guitar" and "I'm the Man Who Murdered Love" as their orphans -- and if these constitute an average Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) album, that's a testament to what a terrific band they are.
As the band states, the two volumes were essentially arranged by dividing those songs into two categories based on sound. Where Volume 1 contained lush, orchestral works, Wasp Star is the "rock" record.
Much changed with XTC over the course of its strike. The band pared down to the dynamic duo of Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding, and Partridge went through a bitter divorce. The latter break-up informed one of the tracks on Wasp Star, Wounded Horse, on which Partridge sings, "I found out you've been riding another man.
As was the case with Volume 1, Wasp Star echoes back Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) the high points of the band's career, like Skylarking and previous records. Songs like Stupidly Happy and The Wheel and the Maypole are laced with the quirky wordplay and quick wit that established the band's reputation.
Wasp Star is the companion set to last year's Apple Venus Vol. Andy Partridge and longtime XTC sidekick Colin Moulding deliver Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) album of second nature savvy brimming with keen metaphors and fruitful imagery.
Of course, XTC have been at it so long, they can write ten good songs before breakfast. The group is living proof that the craft of true pop songwriting doesn't take the sort of leave of absence we've seen with recent efforts from contemporary British acts like Pulp, Blur and Oasis. Granted, Partridge's infamous stage fright and record label wranglings left XTC landlocked for most of the nineties, but Wasp Star is manna for pop-starved ears.
Partridge likens life to a "Playground" on the album opener, letting us in on a little secret: bullies will be bruising us our whole lives. Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) do a bit of their own bruising here with bold arrangements and a guitar sound definitely meatier than their Skylarking days in the late eighties.
Needless to say Moulding takes the situation into his own hands. Wasp Star is indeed dandy news for diehard XTC fans and should also find an audience among smart pop fans, tiring of generic radio blah-blah. During their legendary strike begun in '92 that precipitated their split from Virgin, brilliant, eccentric popmeister Andy Partridge and his less productive, quietly exceptional chum, Colin Moulding, stockpiled songs that had nowhere to go. Their new contract with Cooking Vinyl saw some strikingly crafted esoterica eventually flowering on 's orchoustic delight that was Apple Venus Volume 1an approximation of the album Partridge wanted to make in ' It wasn't worth the wait for guitarist Dave Gregory who, feeling redundant in the midst of the editing frenzy that was its making, quit.
Shame he Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) hang on for Volume 2 arriving a mere 15 months later, with Partsy and Moulders strapping back on, plugging back in and creating a whole other world of pop nirvana. The musical mood is defiantly - sometimes misleadingly - up. Armoured in plangent electric guitar, burly drums, sunny melodies and Set Me Free (Quid Novi Ex Africa) - Tacere - The Legend Of Gévaudan contrapuntal harmonies, Wasp Star is certainly louder and brighter than the pastoral Volume 1but beneath their riff and bluster, several of Partridge's songs retain the vulnerability that characterises much of the earlier record.
Hardly surprising given the period during which they were written coincided with divorce, alcohol excess, serious illness, artistic stultification and new love. Partridge's muse is alight with his awful lows and crazy highs - from pain to jealousy to forgiveness to horniness to wanting to worship at the "Church Of Women" - and as ever, it's thrilling.
Moulding, by effective contrast, is more reliably measured in his expression and fashions at least one more provincial gem with "In Another Life", which for some - like "Frivolous Tonight" on Volume 1 - may just steal the album. Spot the married man. Little more than stay-at-home craftsmen these days - but with an internal division of ego which seems to work for them, fierce quality control and one of the brightest minds in pop at the helm - XTC are that rarest, most precious of pop beasts: a band that never got worse.
Released from their oppressive Virgin contract at long last, XTC have reverted back to their old prolific habits, releasing their second album in as many years. But it's also less ambitious than previous releases, and perhaps as a result, it's not one of their best efforts.
The album is bookended by two fantastic songs, "Playground" and "The Wheel and the Maypole. Other highlights include the Salt King - Stace England And The Salt Kings - Salt Sex Slaves giddy "Stupidly Happy," based around one willfully simple, "moronic" guitar riff; the album's single, "I'm the Man Who Murdered Love," which features cheerfully cynical lyrics and some enthusiastic yelling from Partridge; "My Brown Guitar," an innuendo-filled ode to the Partridgean tallywhacker, with a great, almost reggae-tinged chorus; and "You Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) the Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful," a bouncy, sweet love song.
Then there's the rest of the album. Partridge strikes out with the sludgy, self-pitying "Wounded Horse," another song - yawn! Equally distasteful is "Church of Women," in which we learn that women are wonderful because we're "loving and giving" and good Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) raising kids. These sentiments are presumably well-intentioned, but they're essentially the equivalent of praising African-Americans because they sing and dance so well and are good at picking cotton.
The song's lighter-waving, anthemic quality and tasty flugelhorn bits almost redeem the dodgy Johnny Dorelli - La Canzone Di Orfeo / Felicità, but not quite.
The other lackluster tracks, alas, are all contributed by bassist Colin Moulding, who seems stuck in a permanent musical rut. Two of his three songs employ the same tedious "Penny Lane" shuffle he drove into the ground on "Apple Venus Vol.
The third song, the stark and gloomy "Boarded Up", at least sounds different, but still isn't very engaging. Somewhere along the line, Moulding lost the capacity to imbue his songs with much emotional LFO (The Leeds Warehouse Mix) - Various - Global Underground - his new material is pleasant and catchy, but it's lightweight stuff, displaying little of the creativity or insight of his earlier work.
It's hard to be moved by any of these songs, emotionally or otherwise, and that's a shame. The production on "Wasp Star" is In Control - Hamo - The Cotton Club EP welcome Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) from the highly polished style which XTC favored for the last few albums.
It has a straightforward, spontaneous quality that suits the upbeat music, and there's plenty of nice little Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) like the stomping feet in "Boarded Up.
The primarily orchestral "Apple Venus Vol. Partridge carries on alone in reasonable style -- the goofy pseudo-Middle Eastern solo on "I'm The Man Who Murdered Love" is a particular treat - but the complexity and beauty of Gregory's musicianship, which might have perked up the weaker tracks, is definitely missed.
We get everything we might expect from the band - clever lyrics, tricky song structures, lots of hooks - and that's about it. Uncharacteristically, there aren't any stylistic quirks or twists that make "Wasp Star" special, which is a little disappointing. It's hard to say whether this signifies the beginning of a decline for the band, or just a temporary glitch. More likely it's the latter, but we'll just have to wait and see. El Pais June Discoteca.
Sein Ziel sei es diesmal gewesen, "ein erwachsenes Album aufzunehmen". Dessen subtile Freuden kosten Partridge and Moulding nun aus, ohne wirklich begeistern zu wollen. Mit Chorvocals? Ja gern. Bitte sehr. Die scharfen Riffs sind rund geworden und swingen ein wenig. It might sound pompous, he says, but he doesn't "feel a need to listen to other people's stuff". Well shouted, Andy Partridge, but we wouldn't call that pompous.
Arrogant is the word. And as if it were a planned tactic The Biggest Conflict - Tommy Keene - Based On Happy Times destroy the music press' tense anticipation of the new XTC album, he tops this with another awful statement: This time, his goal was to "record an adult record.
But there's no fire blazing here any more, Watch Out - Fat Jon The Ample Soul Physician* - Wave Motion rebellious furor has finally lost its gleam, so evident Shout - Various - Les Folles Années Du Rock Vol.
2 in the beginnings in The development went, in consistent fashion, from distracting, nervous new-wave songs to manic melodies to "songwriting". Partridge and Moulding are now enjoying the subtle pleasures of this art to the fullest, without really trying to capture our hearts or our enthusiasm.
With choir-style vocals? Happy to oblige. Brass arrangements? As you like it. Along with others in their age group, the two forty-somethings set up shop in their little chamber of irony, and now sit back, savor their melodic and harmonic refinements, and are pleased when their fans guess all the right answers to their "musical references quiz" in song format.
They just want to enjoy themselves, and this self-satisfied musical Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) is, to be honest, a bit disappointing when it's XTC we're talking about. The sharp, pointy riffs are rounder and smoother now, International - The Cunninghams - Zeroed Out they swing a bit.
And the whole "spiel" with the rock guitar, which they certainly know how to use in the right places to their own profit, seems a bit fatuous. Other bands, who Andy Partridge doesn't want to listen to, have already explored this territory, and done it better. XTC fans are a small cult. But don't ask members to explain the reason for their affection. It's nearly impossible to do.
Andy Partridge's vocals remain as affected, inventive, abrasive and bracing as ever. But XTC's music is as ravishing as anything you'll find in modern pop. Maybe that's enough to explain the cult's devotion. Disco veramente piacevole, imperdibile, scritto da un gran gruppo. XTC ended a seven-year hiatus last year with the release of Apple Venus Volume 1a collection of orchestral ballads that underscored Andy Partridge's genius but left some fans yearning for the band's trademark power pop.
Wasp Star revisits the band's penchant for Beatles melodies and Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) Boys vocal harmonies. The song Setenta Balcones - Carlos Montero - Con El Tango En El Bolsillo off with just drums and a repeating guitar riff, adding bass, more guitars Never In A Million Years - Laura Branigan - The Platinum Collection round-robin harmonies as it builds Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) the same kind of lush sound that fueled the band's hit "The Mayor of Simpleton.
Moulding contributes three songs, including "In Another Life," a tongue-in-cheek tribute to maintaining domestic bliss, and "Boarded Up," the lone acoustic song on the album. Not everything clicks. The abrupt tempo changes on "My Brown Guitar" sound forced, and the pastoral sexual imagery of "The Wheel and the Maypole" was captured more artfully in Volume 1's "Easter Theater. With back-to-back triumphs, XTC has returned from limbo with its muse intact. Its all here. Inventive melodies, pushy guitars, sweeping harmonies and ultra-creative arrangements.
This record could single-handedly remove some of the tarnish that has been affixed to the under-loved genre called "Power Pop" since this is the way it is supposed to sound. You won't find this on the radio save WEFTor on the shiny Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) channels, but don't let that sway you into ignoring this record.
This is great Beatles-derived guitar Rock 'n' Roll music. Wiener Zeitung. Starting with the spiky riff of "Playground," the hooks grab you song after song.
XTC doesn't shy away from the simple love song, but the themes and music on "Wasp Star" get more complex. Subject matter ranges from love to disillusion to the nature of life.
Being so petrified of playing live, it's surprising that frontman Andy Partridge can continually air his insecurities so publicly. Yet he does so in a self-deprecating, often brutal manner. But the CD, for the most part, is upbeat and positive. Its soaring, Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) harmonies are countered by a jagged, bouncy chorus.
Gone is the anxious uncertainty of Partridge's youth. On "The Wheel and the Maypole," he perhaps resolves his crisis of faith expressed so controversially on the banned "Dear God" from 's "Skylarking". Of course it all unweaves. In fact, it is subtitled Apple Venus Vol.
But the two CDs don't sound like they're that closely related. But Wasp Star, recorded immediately on the heels of Apple Venus, brings XTC squarely back to the catchy, slightly skewed guitar pop format that has long been the group's stock and trade. It may also be the most accessible XTC album to date. In fact, "Stupidly Happy," with its smart lyrics and an instantly memorable signature guitar riff, sounds like the kind of song that could bring this band a much-deserved pop hit.
But if Wasp Live It Up - Mr. Marcelo (From The Ghetto)* - Brick Livin is an immediately likable CD, that doesn't mean it is one dimensional or any less interesting than the band's best efforts-Skylarking and English Settlement are my personal favorites.
When considered in tandem Apple Venus Vol. That's wrong on two levels. Teen-agers listen to rap, and pop music is catchy and usually so nice in nature that you're embarrassed to admit to liking it to your more hard-core friends who just had a sub-woofer installed in their El Camino.
This straightforward song about putting a cap in the emotion's cranium, essentially ridding the world of heartbreak and loneliness, is very good and sticks around. Other highlights in "Wasp Star" include the minimalist "Stupidly Happy"; "Standing in for Joe," which is a naughty song about a man who is going out of town and asks his best friend to look after his girl; and "You and the Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful" is a nice antithesis to "I'm the Man Who Murdered Love.
Any disc you can listen to all the way through is quality. Layered with caustic tales and swathed in orchestral arrangements, the mostly acoustic outing was, after a seven-year hiatus, hardly the quirky pop undertaking longtime fans were expecting.
Fortunately, it was also their finest work since 's majestic Skylarking. Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding grew Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) songwriters, expanding their boundaries beyond the wise-ass corners of their youth.
XTC promised that for the second volume of Apple Venus they would plug back in their instruments and resume their roles as the mayors of drolldom. And they pretty much make good on that pledge. Wasp Star Apple Venus Volume 2 is every bit as "adult" as Volume One, but with electricity once again surging through the grooves they've crafted a sequel as simple as its predecessor was complex.
The opening "Playground" kicks off with a fuzzy guitar riff worthy of any arena-rock band capable of arrogant backstage riders. Yet Partridge can't help but to toss in a few sinkers. His often heavy-handed approach to the quite simple art of pop songwriting can be daunting. On glorious arty statements like English Settlement and Skylarking or even Apple Venus I.M, I.P - Last Exit - 06.03.84 One the mighty metaphors and plodding arrangements benefit the songs; on more undemanding fare such as Wasp Star, the results seem a bit mannered.
But this has always been Partridge's, and XTC's, biggest flaw. So, in a way, it's nice to have them back where they belong.
Power pop fans rejoice! While last year's offering was low-key orchestral pop, the new disc reclaims the classic XTC sound fans have been clamoring for. While Wasp Star is by no means XTC's best album, it's more than enough Today Is Tomorrow - Sex Crime - Sex Crime appease their devoted following. Let's hope it's not another seven years until they rear their heads again.
And gentlemen, how about a live studio webcast, since you don't tour? This follow-up should tickle the X-spots of the disenchanted: the music on Wasp Star is as sunny as Apple Venus, Volume 1's lyrics were overcast. However, I'm still not going to touch Andy Partridge's psyche with a foot pole. That catchiness is again king becomes apparent instantly with the opening Partridge-penned pair of "Playground" and "Stupidly Happy," the latter driven by what could pass for a sampled Stones' guitar riff.
But it's Partridge's "The Man Who Murdered Love" see, I told you he still had issues that's the most brilliant moment on an album brimming with 'em. Yes and no. While the band's membership has gradually shrunken down to that of a duo, you can still hear the distinctive voices and idiosyncratic songwriting of guitarist Andy Partridge and bassist Colin Moulding. On the evidence of Wasp Starit would seem that time has treated Messrs. Partridge and Moulding quite well.
Of course, Beatle-esque pop-rock ain't what it used to be, but if you still enjoy this kind of thing, you really can't beat XTC. Featuring two able-bodied vocalists, tasty contributions from talented session musicians and studio smarts to spare, XTC is as professional and efficient at its job as the newly revived Steely Dan manages to be.
Creating an intelligent and tuneful world of adventurous pop music all its own, this sound was once the stuff rock radio was made of.
With chiming guitars, full-bodied harmonies and clever Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) on songs like "Stupidly Happy" and "Church of Women," Φτάνει - Various - Οι Νο.1 Ελληνικές Επιτυχίες Της Χρονιάς is the best XTC record in nearly a decade. Mitch Myers writes about music for Metro Times.
Their first electric album in eight years, and we are "Stupidly Happy" to once again rock Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) with Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding, our favorite 70's pop meets punk band, XTC. Wasp Starthe hotly anticipated follow-up to the lush "orchustic" Apple Venus, vol. This album of beautifully crafted pop songs is a pleasure from start to finish.
The album is pristinely recorded and attention is paid to the smallest detail. The one dud on the album, "In Another Life," however, is also a Moulding composition. It's a minor censure on an otherwise wonderfully well-written album. And of course it's clever. It's XTC. Although we miss guitarist Dave Gregory's contributions, Andy and Colin more than amply fill his Risky (Summer Remix) - FPI Project - Risky (Remix) and guitar frills.
XTC have figured out how to assimilate 25 years of many and varied creative influences and remarkable musicianship to create a vocabulary uniquely their own. We are the lucky beneficiaries of such care and diligence.
Wasp StarMayan for apple venus, is the second installment of material born from the lives of Andy and bassist Colin Moulding during a 7 year strike against their then record company Virgin. The first was last years stunning Apple Venus Volume 1an often-amazing collection of Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) and orchestral songs, dubbed "orchoustic" by Partridge. Wasp Star continues the trend of briar catchy tunes, this time served fresh on a bed of electric guitars. The ultra punchy intro of "Playground" will remind the fan of Black Sea or English Settlement material and should easily grab the ear of the newcomer.
Andy's purposely simple "Stupidly Happy" is the sort of tune his "Mayor of Simpleton" may have written once he landed the girl. For the most part these are straightforward guitar driven tunes with just enough muscle in all the Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) places. Wasp Star begs the attention of the masses that have somehow overlooked one of the better pair of 9.5.-N.A.S.T.Y.
- W.A.S.P. - Live. In The Raw architects of the last twenty years. Well just stop there you daft beggars. XTC have been making excellently crafted pop before and since the soddin eighties. And what's more they still are. Split with Virgin aside - they've simply never been away. If you're not the kind of person who thinks 'pop' should always have something new and enigmatic to say I mean - this is fucking pop we're talking about?
It doesn't matter what charges these songs - whether it's an ageing middle-aged rocker with a hard-on the size of Brazil or whether it's a twisted Swindon man in the grip of a pastoral orgasm. XTC bring to their songs what too many bands disregard. An unself-conscious honesty. There's no ironic tiltin' at beatle windows or idle morrisonisms here. Just honest to goodness prick tingling pop. Ignore the Colin Moulding songs if you must After the overly fragrant strings and bitter lyrical fruit of last year's Apple Venus Volume 1, it's weird to hear XTC stripped down to its six-string skivvies.
Even compared with, say, Oranges and Lemons, this is still remarkably unornate. But don't be fooled. Rather than spending time winding through twitchy arrangements, XTC saves the complications for the subject matter.
Though hardly raw, there is something cleansing about Wasp Star, as Bahnhof - Noise Unit - Decoder little else lousy could happen to remaining X men Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding.
Surrounded by subtly contagious melodies, Wasp Star's stories cattily relate the barbs of youth to the low-slung arrows of adulthood "Playground" and detail how pain affects romantic espirit "I'm the Man Who Murdered Love". While Moulding is little more than an emotional costar on "Standing In for Joe," Partridge is made slowly mad, nibbling on stale wedding cake on "The Wheel and the Maypole.
Popkomm June popkomm. Wir ziehen mit und verlosen 5 CDs. Archived from the original on 11 April Retrieved 17 January Official Charts Company. Billboard Prometheus Global Media. Adam Ant ". Namespaces Article Talk. Although I obviously don't have a position of objectivity in this regard, I challenge any serious fan of pop in the vein of the Beatles, Brian Wilson, and British psychedelia to listen to this album and disagree.
It also features the dynamic vocals of Partridge and Moulding in their best pop fashion, and even includes some Unauthorized - Material - Memory Serves tracks by Partridge's daughter Holly.
As the tracks progress, they become increasingly impressive and more diverse. The guitars take on added complexity and the music begins to hit you with hooks that make other Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) drool. It's definitely not the radio formula of putting the singles in the order of first, third, and fifth song. Peppersbut is more likely to be an out-take from the Dukes of Stratosphere, XTC's psychedelic rock side project. The reverb and sexual imagery combine almost elegantly, yet fully conscious of a sense of humor.
With simple foot stomps for a beat and a twangy acoustic guitar line, it's almost bluesy in it's brooding heaviness and the theme of a town of buildings abandoned after a flurry of capitalism evokes a grim visage of XTC's hometown of Swindon, England. It actually has some potential for radio as well, although mostly for the AAA audience. The album begins to expand after this point, inflating like a balloon with "We're All Light," "Standing in for Joe," and "Wounded Horse.
This is easily my favorite song on the album. As the song of a man who Wake Up America - Dayglo Abortions - Feed Us A Fetus guiltily cheating with his friend's wife, the title becomes ironic in that it sounds like it could be an old Joe Jackson song.
It evokes a Sting-like element that gives it a peppy edge, and the guitar hooks are excellent, punctuated with peppered horns. I've definitely decided that a Sting-XTC collaboration would create some amazing pop, but it's probably not likely. A beautiful song, it sounds very much like where XTC left off with 's Nonsuch.
A May Day celebration of love and love gone wrong, it signals Partridge's break with the frustration of failed marriage and divorce. Its happy, crescendo-heavy music is not the poignant ending that Apple Venus Vol.
I wanted exceedingly badly to give this album my first There is one major thing missing from the disc that I couldn't ignore, and that's Dave Gregory. Gregory split during the final recording of Apple Venus Vol.
Gregory's guitar is missed in songs like "Playground" and "Stupidly Happy," where the single guitar line of Partridge is somewhat repetitive, the songs relying more on vocal hooks than musical ones.
For an example of why they sounded so great together see Nonsuch 's "Books Are Burning," with its incredible dueling guitar. If the album had Gregory, and had been produced by Paul Fox whose clean productions are always excellent and made Oranges and Lemons absolutely amazingthis Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) have been the Wounded Horse - XTC - Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2) Colin Moulding - vocals and bass.
Prairie Prince - drums. Matt Vaughn - programming. Nick Davis - the more complicated keyboard parts. Kate St. John - oboe. Simon Gardner - flugelhorn.
Gavin Wright - violin.
Ooh Poo Pah Doo - Part 1 - Various - Original Rocks - «Le Musée De Salut Les Copains», Silas Hogan - Im Gonna Quit You Pretty Baby, Communion - Guillaume Dufay, Capella Cordina - Missa Sancti Jacobi - Rite Maiorem - Ecclesiae Milita, Trouble Sleeping - Various - Music From The OC: Mix 2, Przyszedł Dzień - Select - Niebieskie Oczy, Taxman - George Harrison With Eric Clapton - Live @ Big Egg 3rd Night, Noche De Fallas - El Titi - Noche de Fallas, Part Time Love - Gladys Knight & The Pips* - 2nd Anniversary, Amanti - Toto Cutugno - Voglio Andare A Vivere In Campagna, Tracy - Lou Donaldson Quartet - Forgotten Man, Piano Concerto No.21 In C - Mozart* - Favourites From The Classics, Un Mur - Tachan* - Lintégrale Volume 2 (1969 A 1974), Bye And Bye - Mister Acker Bilk And His Paramount Jazz Band* - Volume One