Xiu Xiu CD review {5 Rue Christine]

Music Reviews
Xiu Xiu CD review {5 Rue Christine]
Nov 20, 2006, 18:09

XIU XIU The Air Force CD

Xiu Xiu's The Air Force is an exercise in the extraordinary and arcane. Its basis is in defiantly overblown, elaborate writing and singing. The songs are very involved, plushly melodic and grandiose, verging on operatic. Jamie Stewart's singing is foppishly overwrought—he practically makes Antony Heggarty sound like Lemmy by comparison.

Where it gets marvelously perverse is that the instrumental treatments are deconstructivist, truncated, abstracted. Rather than being slammed with a solid monolithic block of opulent sound the listener is thrust into a teeming tangle of variegated patches of sonic undergrowth, hanging vines, beards of moss, pockets of quagmire, etc. You encounter little chunks of melody at apparently random junctures: a guitar line here, tinkling piano arpeggio there, bass guitar line, orchestral exclamations etc. And they come fast and furious enough that you wind up with coherent if incredibly porous and mobile song structures. The ultimate affect is like Dali at his most surrealistic, creating assemblages of disparate objects—shovels, apples, anchors—into a single, recognizable semblance, like a human torso. Cool shit. [5 Rue Christine]

-Howard W.

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