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Fabulous Muscles

Xiu Xiu Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 22.95
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Product Details

1. Crank Heart
2. I Luv The Valley OH!
3. Bunny Gamer (b)
4. Little Panda McElroy (b)
5. Support Our Troops OH! (Black Angels OH!)
6. Fabulous Muscles (Mama Black Widow Version)
7. Brian The Vampire
8. Nieces Pieces (Boat Knife Version)
9. Clowne Towne
10. Mike

Product Description

Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Spastic May 31 2004
By "staaa"
Format:Audio CD
Remember Being John Malkovich? Yeah, that movie where there's a portal into the actor's brain. This album reminds me of that because it is, I imagine, like a portal into Jamie Stewart's brain. It's a dangerous trip and some people will absolutely hate it, as you can see in some of the other reviews.
This music will not make you feel good about yourself. This is music for the anxious, self-conscious, and depressed. Personally, I think it's brilliant. It's difficult to describe the actual music, but I think it's safe to say that this is some of the most intense stuff I've ever heard. Jamie Stewart's lyrics are often dark and disturbing yet strangely humorous at the same time. "I Luv the Valley OH!" and "Clowne Towne" are obvious highlights and "Nieces Pieces" is absolutely devastating. This is Xiu Xiu's most accessible album to date, but that's not saying much. This is a difficult but rewarding listen, my personal favorite album of the year so far, right in front of TV on the Radio's Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes.
"The album is scarier than underwear from Goodwill." - Magnet magazine, No. 63 May/June 2004
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Consistent & Passionate (4/5) May 26 2004
Format:Audio CD
It's very hard to write about Xiu Xiu's music, but that's mainly due to the fact that it's so damn hard to listen to. Nevertheless, one of the most important elements of being an artist is to remain complete true to yourself and your craft. Jamie Stewart, the only constant member of Xiu Xiu, could probably not agree more. He certainly doesn't lack the ability to express what's on his mind and in his heart. He is the master of being able to get to the absolute core of his feelings with every successive album he releases; regardless of how many listeners he leaves behind in the process. Stewart is someone who appears to not get enough out of life, or maybe he's just someone who's seen so much in his time that nothing affects him anymore. I'd imagine that in addition to being the most uncomfortable singer to listen to, he's probably the most jaded human being in existence. If Xiu Xiu's music isn't a testament to this, well...I'm not sure what else is.
Fabulous Muscles, his newest album, begins slightly unpredictable with a soft and simple Casio-sounding keyboard on "Crank Heart." This instrumentation is most likely a result of his time working with label mate Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, who Stewart will be spending a bit of time with on the road this year. It insinuates that this album will be less abrasive than Xiu Xiu's previous work. It also stands as one of the more user-friendly songs of their catalogue, with its somewhat basic pop arrangement. "I Luv the Valley Oh" also starts fairly subdued and eventually unfolds into one of the finer tracks on the album. In a lot of ways it's on par with his best work on "Suha.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Genius April 23 2004
Format:Audio CD
Xiu Xiu has always been one of those unclassifiable bands. One can never tell what exactly is going on. Xiu Xiu has always been a group but it's also sort of like a solo project by Jamie Stewart. Many of the band members refuse to play in the live show. Some of the early audiences must have been really upset and shocked. Some of the previous albums have been really strange too. Some of the emotional states have been naked and raw. It's like watching someone crumble before your eyes. Even though Fabulous Muscles brings together some of the strangest stories on record, it is also their most accessible album. "Crank Heart" and "I Love The Valley" have the most pop oriented sound. The song "Fabulous Muscles" was probably the most effective live song on their recent tour. It's sort of inspired by the band's secret Tracy Chapman influence. "Support Our Troops" is the most wild, spoken word piece, describing human brutality. "Clown Town" catalogues life's shortcomings. This is a wonderful album that means something.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gasp! April 17 2004
By Paul H.
Format:Audio CD
Xiu Xiu is an acquired tase, kind-of like electro noise-mongers Black Dice. But where Black Dice barrages you with a slew of manipulated chaos sans proper vocals (just some screaming and mutters here and there), Xiu Xiu has the vocal prowess of Jamie Stewart, a singer possessing the pipes of Robert Smith with the mindset of Todd Solondz. It's not pretty. Fabulous Muscles, the band's third full-length, is filled with tales of emotional/physical/sexual abuse, severly broken relationships, and emotional instability. They're not the first band to tackle such topics, but Jamie Stewart's battered, tortured, whispered vocals are gut-wrenching, to the point where the album becomes quite difficult to listen to. Xiu Xiu has been accussed of being overly-dramatic, but Stewart knows the power of restraint, so even when his voice seems about to break, it lingers on. The album's highlight, "I Luv The Valley OH!," breaks from the synth driven rampages of "Brian The Vampire" and "Crank Heart" and the minimalist dirges of "Nieces Pieces" and "Little Panda McElroy" to deliver the most starteling departure in Xiu Xiu's catalog: a pop song. Not content to deliver any ordinary pop song, however, "I Luv The Valley" layers its jagged guitar lines with random noise and a general sense of dread. Jamie's mocking "la la la's" are a brilliant touch while his release of a screamed "OH!" in the second verse working as a nice cherry on top to an already great song. Are Xiu Xiu becoming accessible? Hardly, they're just becoming a better and better band.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars yes album of the year
album of the year. well almost. its a tie between "fabulous muscles" and "culture for pigeon" by tracy + the plastics. Read more
Published on June 27 2004 by Wesley Walton
5.0 out of 5 stars Whoa...what have we here?
Xiu Xiu's previous efforts were great and I love them. However, nothing prepared me for this amazing disc. Read more
Published on April 14 2004 by Damion Rowland
5.0 out of 5 stars for the ages
Compared to this record, the world seems insincere. Everyone is fake. We hold onto threads of civilization in the face of tragedy, incapable of fully embracing the emotions which... Read more
Published on April 14 2004 by Gabe J. Kangas
5.0 out of 5 stars Staggeringly close to a masterpiece.
A little over the top of a review title? Well, if you've listened to Xiu Xiu (especially the previous releases) you'll feel the same way too. Read more
Published on April 11 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars I Luv Fabulous Muscles OH!
Geez, Xiu Xiu just keep gettin' better and better. This album is easier to listen to than 'A Promise', but not quite as good as 'Knife Play. Read more
Published on Feb. 21 2004 by Mark Twain
5.0 out of 5 stars the best album of the year so far
this is what indy music is about. Jamie Stewart's voice is both fragile and moving. this mixed with some very awkward lyrics and beautiful (experimental) instrumentation makes for... Read more
Published on Feb. 19 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Pitchforkmedia Review; 9.0 out of 10.0
Ever since the release of their 2002 debut Knife Play, Xiu Xiu frontman Jamie Stewart has been hard at work redefining the concept of "challenging" music. Read more
Published on Feb. 17 2004 by treblekicker
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous record
all corny review titles aside, this record is the best of the year so far and is sure to (at least) make it in my top 5. FM is the best record xiu xiu has released. Read more
Published on Feb. 17 2004 by Drew Dahle
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