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REVIEW: Xiu Xiu - Girl With A Fruit Basket

Updated: Jan 30, 2022

9.2/10

Favorite Track: "Mary Turner Mary Turner" Least Favorite Track: "Anargi ve Moo"

I’m nowhere near tough stuff, but not much really gets to my head. The majority of alarming and unexpected scenarios tend to flow by me, I’ve run into a median where blissful ignorance or degenerating attention are the only responses I can muster. It’s nice, but my occasional awareness often puts that mindset into question, and in turn, everything else; The only blueprint for accessing this is fear. The latest Xiu Xiu album, Girl With A Fruit Basket, is wildly unsettling, each track mangles and toys with the mind. With tracks like”‘Scissors” and “Ice Cream Truck”, the sounds carry the theme, every bit of the music is built to terrify, and it works a majority of the time. The star of the show, however, is the enveloping vocals. It’s wildly claustrophobic, like being chained to a chair while watching Jamie Steward chose his method of torture, eventually landing on harsh lyricism. The wordplay in this album can be extremely off-putting for some, yet comical for others. Tracks like “Normal Love” and the title track seem so different at first, one harsh and potent, and the other restrained and leaking, but they maintain the oddities of the album while sounding so different. It all adds so perfectly to the potent and adherent final line, “I’m fine.” All the songs vex you with the alien and intense samples and musical queues, but the lyrics force you to step back and reanalyze everything. One track that exemplifies this aura more than any other is “Mary Turner Mary Turner”. This track makes me debilitated and nauseous, everything shuts down physically, only making me feel more trapped within the story. It’s a car crash, one where the bodies lie still, representing the loss of life so clearly, then you see the child. You see the soul that never got to feel anything, one who gave everything it could to life, and was swiftly acknowledged through utter violence and death. You want to look away so much, it’s overwhelming for you, but you can’t. You see how screwed the world is, it expands your mind so viciously and bleak. The scariest part, however, is the realization that everything must continue casually, the sinister aspects of the world remain glossed over.

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