14 Songs, 59 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

XTC can be a study in contrast. On Black Sea, it's a minimalist quartet with expansive productions, a modernist circa-1980 dance band with undanceable rhythms and its heart in '60s pop. And it's a group whose songs—with unflagging intelligence—question everyone and distrust signs of intellect. Its leader, Andy Partridge, is the virtual definition of the standoffish British observer, preferring socio-political metaphor over matters of the heart—and always singing on the defensive, as if he's the kid at the bottom of the pileup being beaten senseless. Black Sea is the group's fourth album, continuing along the sonic improvements and compositional maturity that took root with its previous release, Drums and Wires. "Respectable Street," "Generals and Majors," and "Towers of London" are the closest this group of misanthropes is likely to come to accessible, mainstream pop. "Living Through Another Cuba" and "Love at First Sight" virtually define the group's obstinate approach, spelling out its internal paranoia with jagged rhythms, carefully placed and seductively catchy backing vocals, and a parade of sounds that suggest the circus is in town.

EDITORS’ NOTES

XTC can be a study in contrast. On Black Sea, it's a minimalist quartet with expansive productions, a modernist circa-1980 dance band with undanceable rhythms and its heart in '60s pop. And it's a group whose songs—with unflagging intelligence—question everyone and distrust signs of intellect. Its leader, Andy Partridge, is the virtual definition of the standoffish British observer, preferring socio-political metaphor over matters of the heart—and always singing on the defensive, as if he's the kid at the bottom of the pileup being beaten senseless. Black Sea is the group's fourth album, continuing along the sonic improvements and compositional maturity that took root with its previous release, Drums and Wires. "Respectable Street," "Generals and Majors," and "Towers of London" are the closest this group of misanthropes is likely to come to accessible, mainstream pop. "Living Through Another Cuba" and "Love at First Sight" virtually define the group's obstinate approach, spelling out its internal paranoia with jagged rhythms, carefully placed and seductively catchy backing vocals, and a parade of sounds that suggest the circus is in town.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

H22221 ,

XTC--AMAZING OBSCURISH BRITPOP

Great band... might be their best album here. If you like it check out the Dukes of Stratosphear stuff (their alter ego)

drumrgurl29 ,

One of My Favorite Albums by My Favorite Band from HS Days

One of the best albums XTC ever put out. I grew up with this band and here I am 40 plus years laters listening to them. This album and English Settlement are my all time favorites and will grow new with me as I get older. It’s just too bad this band never toured the states or anywhere off of Great Britain partly due to a band members fear of flying.

cheesy97412hotmail.com ,

Between Good and Great, check it out !!

3 should be good, Great and 4 should be very good. Anyway LOve me some XTC. Back in the day ( Early 80's) my older brother got me into a world of discovery ( maybe not of the likes of in the movie, can't think of it right now, but had the classic song " tiny dancer" in it. anyway, my fave. xtc lp's are, in no special order are, 1. English Settlement 2. Drums & Wire 3. black sea. "stg. Rock" & "Gen & Majors" 79' 80' 82' Good stuff !!

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