Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Consumer Guide Album

XTC: Skylarking [Geffen, 1986]
Imagine Sgt. Pepper if McCartney hadn't needed Lennon--if he hadn't been such a wet--and you'll get an inkling of what these insular popsters have damn near pulled off. Granted, there's barely a hint of overarching significance, but after all, this isn't 1967. With Todd Rundgren sequencing and twiddling those knobs, they continue strong for the first nine or ten (out of fourteen) songs. Only when the topics become darker and more cosmic do they clutter things with sound and whimsy; as long as they content themselves with leisurely, Shelleyan evocations of summer love and the four seasons, they'll draw you into their world if you give them the chance--most enticingly on a song called "Grass," about something good to do there. A-