Salon reviews the new XTC album: my big question is, how come Salon’s music features are among the most interesting and thought-provoking on the net, and yet its reviews are usually so flat? Spending half of every piece giving boring background details doesn’t help, but the tone of the reviews is so measured and fair-minded, in a weird contrast to the mag’s catty tone when covering news stories.

Their choice of music to review is also deeply safe: aside from the odd predictable pop slag-off, they appear to see their reviewing role as winnowing through vaguely hip indie releases to find the CDs which will make up the most significant and taste-weighted collection a modern young executive could possibly hope to possess. They certainly don’t encourage adventurous or critical thought, that’s for certain.