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Fabulous Muscles

12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 1 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 5RC
  • ASIN: B00019JQ5A
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #117,761 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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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

Customer Reviews

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By A Customer on May 31 2004
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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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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By alexander laurence on 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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By Paul H. on April 17 2004
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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