My 50 Favorite Albums of 2008: #35

Number 35

The opening moments of Xiu Xiu’s new record, Women As Lovers, sound equal parts vintage-Jamie Stewart, and a possible ushering in of a more accessible sound. It’s strange to even think of Xiu Xiu’s distinctive, acquired taste sound as anything near recommendable to even the smallest of indie’s masses, but when enlist the help of Michael Gira to deliver a smoldering cover of Queen & David Bowie’s, “Under Pressure”, it’s the first time one could picture more stubborn listeners opening up to them. There are still plenty of odd trademark moments all over the record, and although it could be seen as a step back in strangeness after the glorious album, “The Air Force”, which preceeded it in 2006, this one still marks an unpredictable and interesting turn for Stewart and company, who are always staying busy. At this point in their career they’ve mastered the quiet before the storm inside each tune, and the point of perfection on this album comes on “Master of the Bump”, a piece of chaotic wonder that only Xiu Xiu could bring to the table. If it’s possible for a fan-base to expand to something more large for the group, then this would be the launching point.

1.I Do What I Want, When I Want
2.In Lust You Can Hear the Axe Fall
3.F.T.W.
4.No Friend Oh!
5.Guantanamo Canto
6.Under Pressure
7.Black Keyboard
8.Master of the Bump (Kurt Stumbaugh, I Can Feel the Soil Falling Over My Head)
9.You Are Pregnant, You Are Dead
10.The Leash
11.Child at Arms
12.Puff and Bunny
13.White Nerd
14.Gayle Lynn

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