487. X - Wild Gift (1981)
1. Once Over Twice
2. We're Desperate
3. Adult Books
4. Universal Corner
5. I'm Coming Over
6. It's Who You Know
7. In This House That I Call Home
8. Some Other Time
9. White Girl
10. Beyond And Back
11. Back 2 The Base
12. When Our Love Passed Out On The Couch
13. Year 1
This is one of those subtle albums that grows on you like a bad fungus, or in this case like a good fungus, because this is some pretty good shit. X give us a mix of rockabilly with surf music and a distinct feel of post-punk which is stuck somewhere between The Cramps and The Go-Go's, which is a weird place to be stuck.
Wild Gift is an album of variety but with a surprising coherence, the only song that seems to be stylistically a bit out of context is Adult Books which compensates by being my favourite track in the whole thing. The rest of the album is harsher and less Talking Heads flavoured but equally good.
The lyrics are funny the music is exciting and the best thing about The Doors (Ray Manzarek) produces and plays keyboards here, showing us that not all old people have lost the will to listen to new things. So get this.
1. Adult Books
2. White Girl
3. In This House That I Call Home
4. Some Other Time
In a review published in his "Consumer Guide" column, Robert Christgau gave Wild Gift a rare A+ rating, writing that "hippies couldn't understand jealousy because they believed in universal love; punks can't understand it because they believe sex is a doomed reflex of existentially discrete monads. As X-Catholics obsessed with a guilt they can't accept and committed to a subculture that gives them no peace, Exene and John Doe are prey to both misconceptions, and their struggle with them is thrilling and edifying...Who knows whether the insightful ministrations of their guitarist will prove as therapeutic for them as for you and me, but I say trust a bohemian bearing gifts. How often do we get a great love album and a great punk album in the same package?"
Christgau was not alone in his enthusiasm; when The Village Voice held their Pazz & Jop Critics Poll for 1981, Wild Gift was ranked at #2, right behind Sandinista! by the Clash.