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Old 03-12-2010, 02:28 PM   #21 (permalink)
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OK now that my 2nd essay is turned in for English, my first research paper is complete for Psych 101, my blog project is finished for journalism and mid terms are out of the way, I can start working on this again. Actually those reasons are only partially responsible for the lack of advancement, in all truth and honesty I just haven't felt like reviewing the next album and instead decided to write up reviews for upcoming albums. I don't know why I don't feel compelled to write this review, I love this album, but the show must go on, so enjoy the 99th installment in this 101 album series.

99. XTC - Skylarking (1986)



Track List:

01. Summer's Cauldron
02. Grass
03. The Meeting Place
04. That's Really Super, Supergirl
05. Ballet for a Rainy Day
06. 1000 Umbrellas
07. Season Cycle
08. Earn Enough For Us
09. Big Day
10. Another Satellite
11. Mermaid Smiled
12. The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul
13. Dying
14. Sacrificial Bonfire
15. Dear God

Genre: Psychedelic Pop, New Wave


This album may come as a shocker to some people, you may find yourself scratching your head thinking "what the hell, Pete's an XTC fan?" Well you're half right. I like XTC, but I feel more like a poseur XTC fan than a real fan because Skylarking is the only album by them that I like (although strangely I love the song "Making Plans for Nigel).

Skylarking is one of those albums I have for a very specific purpose. It's that "happy" album, the album I put on when I just want to bob my head along to some catchy songs and uplifting lyrics. At times the album seems to sound like a precursor to some of the more geeky themed bands like They Might Be Giants or Jonathan Coulton, especially with the song "That's Really Super, Supergirl".

It's hard to say what really stands out about the album, other than whenever I listen to it I feel uplifted. "Summer's Cauldron" comes on and I just seem to float away on a cloud of happy thoughts. With that, if you're looking for a mellow, poppy album with a slightly psychedelic tone to it then I would highly advise you to give this one a try.

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Old 03-12-2010, 02:30 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Dear God is hardly a happy, poppy song...
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:35 PM   #23 (permalink)
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People find happiness in strange things my friend. I just chose that as it was the most popular on the album. I also am not as familiar with the lyrics on the album and focus more on the melodies, perhaps it's an album I should sit down with the lyric sheets one day, but until then it is #99.
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:41 PM   #24 (permalink)
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An excellent album at that. Skylarking is definitely one of XTC's top four albums (the other three being Black Sea, Drums and Wires and English Settlement). For some reason I feel it receives more recognition than the other three, possibly because it was at their height of popularity. In truth I haven't listened to it in quite some time but it's a solid album through and through, this was when both Alan Patridge and Colin Moulding were at their best.

Perhaps you'd be more interested in XTC's sister project, the Dukes of Stratosphear. It was conceived as a tribute to sixties psychedelic rock and it really sounds like a page out of that history book. I think they ended up recording two LPs, quite a bit of nifty tunes on them too. This was the best song I could find on youtube:

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Old 03-12-2010, 03:39 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Some XTC eh. Nice pick! Skylarking's an album I liked, but wasn't exactly one of my favourites. Those'd be Black Sea, English Settlement, Mummer and Apple Venus - the latter two being a couple more terrific albums if you're into the more mellow side of XTC (although a lot less psychedelic than the Dukes Of Stratosphear). Here's a song off of the both of them for ya...

YouTube - XTC - Love on a Farm Boy's Wages
YouTube - XTC - I Can't Own Her

Think I might listen to them again myself actually.

Nice-looking list as well, although XTC aside I'm not familiar with it so far. Looking forward to more updates either way.
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Old 03-12-2010, 04:41 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Sorry I wish I could have written something better for Skylarking but the album just washes over me and nothing really sticks, yet I continue going back to it and it has sort of wormed a way into my heart music wise. I feel like I kind of phoned it in on this review, and I've actually written a few others out in advance because I was putting off this one so at least this will be updated more frequently.

The lack of knowledge on the Tea Party doesn't surprise me, pretty much if you weren't paying attention to Canadian rock bands in the '90's then there's no way you'd really get to know them unless you went out of your way.
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:00 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Ah, this should be interesting, the first autolux song was great. I'll try to look into them when I have more time for music.
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:14 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickenbacker View Post
Dear God is hardly a happy, poppy song...
Hell yeah it is.
Oh wait, you're a Christian or something, right? Does the song's subject matter make you sad?
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:14 PM   #29 (permalink)
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After 20 years of trying to get Dear God out of my head...
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:31 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine View Post
Hell yeah it is.
Oh wait, you're a Christian or something, right? Does the song's subject matter make you sad?
No I'm not. Dear God is a bitter, if naive, rant as I understand it, although I can see how it can be anthemic. I love the song anyway, I just don't think it's very happy. I'd go so far as to call it one of XTC's darker songs.
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