Wasp Star (Apple Venus Volume 2)
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Top Customer Reviews
In fact, it is SO instantly likeable that there is a danger that after hearing it only twice, you will start skipping tracks because your mind is going "Yeah, I love this but I know how it goes..." in the way you might skip an old Beatles classic. However this, like the Beatles, is not "disposable pop" -- each song is a melodic lolly you can enjoy over and over again, each time you can suck out a new nuance of pop flavour that you may not have noticed the first time around. There are hooks galore in these songs, and they get their hooks into you nice and early.
When I say "they" what I really mean is just two guys: Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding. Dave Gregory quit during Apple Venus vol.1. Hence we are left only with the two songwiters who were with the band since it's inception. They haven't played live for over twenty years, so can we really call them a "band" anymore? It's just two songwriters pissing about in the studio with the occasional studio musician. In regards to the way they work, they are now the British equivalent to Steely Dan. Same thing across the Atlantic: Walter Becker and Donald Fagan, reclusive studio freaks.Read more ›
Most bands reach their creative peak around album number three, but somehow XTC managed to put out a record as good as anything they've ever done some twenty-odd years into their career. For that, they deserve a room in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a spot on Hollywood Blvd., a VH-1 "Behind the Music" special, and their own line of action figures.
Noel Gallagher just quit the Oasis tour, and I think I know why: he heard "Wasp Star" and realized how much work he has to do.
The main criticism I have is that most of this material is really nothing new for XTC, nothing they haven't done before, musically or lyrically, except now they've got their production & arrangement technique down to a fine art, not over-producing like they've sometimes done on albums like Orange & Lemons or Nonesuch. To be fair, at least Colin's three songs here show a new songwriting direction for him.
I'd rate their last year's album Apple Venus 1 better over all, simply because of the more expiremental, more acoustic canvas they were working on, and so confidently.
As for the departure of guitarist Dave Gregory, he doesn't seem to be missed all that much, surprisingly. In fact, Andy's "looser" guitar style makes the music feel more spontaneous and not so anal, not like every single note and nuance had been worked out. However, I did read where Dave Gregory said that if they'd put Apple Venus 1 and 2 (Wasp Star) together into one album, as he'd wanted, and left out the weaker songs, that it would have been "XTC's finest hour.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Wasp Star [Apple Venus Volume 2]" succeeds where "Apple Venus Volume 1" falls a little short. If your a collector you need both, of course, and there are good tunes on both, but I... Read morePublished on February 6, 2012 by cmc
Over a decade ago, as the odometer of the ages rolled over to the big 2000 and aged Prince fans finally had their chance to party like it was 1999 (though nobody cared that it... Read morePublished on January 21, 2012 by ewomack
I have been looking for this album at a good price for a couple of years. I was thrilled to finally find it on here!Published on October 7, 2011 by kathy brown
The recording, production and sound quality are superb! However even all the best sound and recording equipment in the world won't save this CD from the second hand and Yogi... Read morePublished on June 15, 2011 by El Aparato SuperSónico
XTC ended their recording career on a high note with 2000's Wasp Star: Apple Venus Volume 2. It had been a tumultuous 23 years of recording, with ongoing problems with their record... Read morePublished on May 22, 2010 by Todd7
bought it cause from what people were saying on this page, i had to get it. i can't really expand a whole lot cause this album is gonna take years to digest. Read morePublished on March 5, 2010 by elliott smith
Back on the old days I once bought a copy of XTC's double vinyl 'Oranges & Lemmons' and (I can't guess why... Read morePublished on September 24, 2008 by Alexandre Loureiro
I can certainly see why this CD would be appreciated by XTC fans. After waiting so long (7 years, for God's sake), then to be treated to 2 CDs in rapid succession, would make... Read morePublished on July 23, 2008 by Gordon Pfannenstiel
After waiting the better part of a decade for a new XTC album to come along, two emerged in quick succession. Read morePublished on August 29, 2006 by Shaun Anderson