When XTC broke its seven-year silence last year with the imaginative and acoustic Apple Venus Volume 1, fans were promised that more would come with Volume 2. Now it's obvious why they held out on the second round: all the really good songs were in the first batch.
Wasp Star is a classic XTC album only in that it is exactly what you'd expect the Swindon duo to sound like. Unlike Volume 1, which answered the band's strike from the recording studio with a radical turnaround, Wasp Star features a dozen formulaic XTC electric pop songs like In Another Life and My Brown Guitar, replete with wry lyrics and the same melodic tricks they've been wheeling out for years. Andy Partridge fanatics will drool. Those hoping for anything more will yawn, loudly.