Album Review

Xxl – “!Ciautistico! ” – [Important Records]

Thurston Hunger   10/23/2005   A Library, CD

Cross-cultural collaboration of local yokel Jamie Stewart
having Xiu Xiu shooed over into the Italian ointment that
Larsen oozes. Stewarts vocals last seen by me swapping song
sheets with the sadly deceased Bunkbed, are recognizable a
continent away. They are not harrowing but HARROWED. I always
envision his hair going shock white everytime he sings. On
this release that only happens three times (#1,4,7). Lyrics
seem to be trying to steady the uneasy singer with lines

“Don’t worry boy, I’ll be there for you”

“Where did this courage come from”

“Ridicule is nothing to be scared of”

The latter coming from potential paisano Marco Pirroni aka
Adam Ant’s “Prince Charming.” Much of the album has a blurry
soundtrack style from Larsen, soft brushing rhythms and guitar
getting mandolinotinted, breathy accordian and hummy synth.
The music ends up being surprisingly comforting in ways
that words, and starter pistols, fail.

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