X's 1987 release See How We Are saw the band hook up with new guitarist Tony Gilkyson, who replaced original member Billy Zoom. Since the two guitarists had a similar style (punk and rockabilly), Gilkyson fit in quite well. Instead of returning to their previous producer Michael Wagener, the group enlisted the help of newcomer Alvin Clark, who merges the punk sound of X's earlier work with Wagener's glossy approach. Included as the title track is one of X's all-time best ballads -- proof of how beautiful and affecting John Doe and Exene Cervenka's vocal harmonies can be. Also featured are the anthemic rocker "4th of July" (written by ex-Blasters and sometimes X fill-in guitarist Dave Alvin), and the standouts "In the Time It Takes," "I'm Lost," and "Surprise Surprise." Although they were still penning fine tunes and giving great concerts (as evidenced by the 1988 live set Live at the Whiskey a Go-Go), X would take several years off after wrapping up the tour for See How We Are, not issuing a new studio album until 1993.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato