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Boomkat Product Review:
For those familiar with Xiu Xiu from last year's 'Fabulous Muscles', 'Life and Live' may come as something of a shock. Whilst that record was meticulously produced, featuring layer after layer of intricate compositions, this new release (recorded on tour with Devendra Banhart) is effectively a solo album from Jamie Stewart, with the Xiu Xiu sound stripped right back and left self consciously raw. Somewhere between Shack and Smog, 'Life and Live' allows Stewart's vocals (always the focal point of their work) to really take centre stage, imbuing the likes of '20,000 Deaths for Eidelyn Gonzales, 20,000 Deaths for Jamie Peterson' and 'Dr. Troll' with a level of eye-contact intimacy that is both shamelessly compelling and a little scary... Taken on its own merits 'Life and Live' is a formidable record, but when sat next to 'Fabulous Muscles' it becomes an essential comparison that you can't help but enjoy making.