Release Date: 1989
Genre: Alternative Rock/New Wave
1. The Garden Of Earthly Delights (05:03)
2. The Mayor Of Simpleton (03:58)
3. King For A Day (03:38)
4. Here Comes President Kill Again (03:35)
5. The Loving (04:11)
6. Poor Skeleton Steps Out (03:28)
7. One Of The Millions (04:43)
8. Scarecrow People (04:13)
9. Merely A Man (03:27)
10. Cynical Days (03:18)
11. Across This Antheap (04:52)
12. Hold Me My Daddy (03:48)
13. Pink Thing (03:48)
14. Miniature Sun (03:50)
15. Chalkhills And Children (05:00)
Total Length: 01:00:49
The Garden Of Earthly Delights is a wonderful psychedelic-tinged track that starts the album. The vocals are very nice and catchy, and that chorus will stick with you for a long time. I also really enjoy the production and overdubs. The Mayor Of Simpleton has cool vocal lines in the verse and chorus, but I don’t really like the drums and don’t entirely understand why this was the single choice. I mean, it’s still like the third or fourth best choice for it, but oh well.
King For A Day is deliciously 80s, and kind of makes me feel odd listening to it. I wouldn’t enjoy the song at all if it didn’t have nice production. Here Comes President Kill Again is odd and I don’t understand it at all or what they were trying to do with the song. The Loving starts with a cheesy rock concert sound, and the chorus is equally cheesy. I kind of enjoy some of the guitars at certain points though. Poor Skeleton Steps Out is fantastic. I love the percussion, and the vocal lines are a ton of fun, and it has simulated whistles which are always amazing.
One Of The Millions has this weird synth horn that makes it sound like a backing video game track, but the actual bulk of the song is kind of slow paced and laid back and, quite frankly, a bit boring. Scarecrow People is mostly forgettable, but has some nice string moments. Merely A Man sounds like it’s trying to be a ‘poppier’ 80s band, it’s not too great. Cynical Days unfortunately continues the trend of pretty bland tracks that I can’t remember once they are over.
Across This Antheap has a really bad intro, but once the main song starts it has some really cool production and a neat main riff. The rest of the song doesn’t appeal to me because it goes on for a pretty long time, but that riff definitely stands out as a good thing. Hold Me My Daddy has a great intro though, and is overall a good return to form for the album. Incredibly catchy with some nice emotional lyrics, and the ending is great. Pink Thing has some cool vocal moments, but the song overall kind of baffles me.
Miniature Sun makes even less sense to me, it is by far the worst song on the album. I have no clue why they thought that main melody was a good idea. Chalkhills And Children ends the album on a sour note. Once again I have no idea what they were going for. It seems like XTC’s first foray off of vinyl kind of created a bloated mess. This album contains plenty of songs that could have been either cut entirely or trimmed down by a minute or two. If this album were shorter (or better written at points) I’d probably love it, but as it stands I only really kind of like about half of the album.
Final Rating: 6.5/10