XTC

Mummer

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

Mummer, the first album to follow Andy Partridge's mental breakdown, which led to XTC's retirement from touring, is very much the work of an eccentric in isolation. The album is a collection that builds on the groundwork of English Settlement with gentle, acoustic songs that evoke pastoral images and peaceful times. There are moments of real inspiration, resulting in some of the band's finest songs to date -- "Love on a Farmboy's Wages," "Great Fire," and "Lady Bird" -- and the sound sets a pleasingly consistent mood, although the sameness tends to work against the lesser material. Only the out-of-place afterthought of "Funk Pop a Roll," a tirade against the music industry, breaks things up, recapturing the abrasive Partridge of past. [When Mummer was reissued on CD, six tracks were added to the middle of the album. While "Jump," "Toys," "Gold," and "Desert Island" are welcome additions of pop confection, the atmospheric instrumentals "Frost Circus" and "Procession Towards Learning Land," from the simply bizarre Homo Safari Series, serve to disrupt the album's flow.]

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