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Young Marble Giants: Colossal Youth

B+
Album: Colossal Youth
Label: Domino

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Listen to just one Young Marble Giants song, and you're bound to be underwhelmed; listen to three or four in a sitting, and you may have to remind yourself to breathe. A seemingly small, unassuming band from Cardiff, Wales, Young Marble Giants happened into legendary status when they put out Colossal Youth in the post-punk prime of 1980. The album was as radical as any other at the time (see classics by Public Image Ltd., Gang Of Four, Talking Heads, et al.), but YMG made its point with a sound that was uncommonly quiet and demure—a precursor to thousands of bedroom balladeers to come. The songs still have a surprising ability to spin out moments of divine beauty and despair, no less so on a new three-disc reissue that includes more or less everything the band ever did.