“senses working overtime” – xtc (1982)

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Most of the time, I pretty much have everything under control.  I am the master of my own destiny.  It takes a lot of discipline and time management, but I typically make it work for me.  However, there are times when things happen beyond my control.  This happens to everyone everywhere all the time.  And each time, I’m always caught off guard and then it is time to not let myself get derailed.  Of course, you never see these distractions coming.  No matter how many times these chaotic events come into play, things do work out in the end.  They key is to just grab the wheel, not lose composure, and get back on the road.

When life throws me curveballs, that is really when I get down to business.  I’ve worked hard for the things and opportunities in my life.  Like most people, I appreciate security and some form of the status quo.  So when shit happens, I work even harder.  All the chips are in.  I’m betting to win.

XTC’s 1982 single “Senses Working Overtime” best represents these moments in my life.  The blended feelings of panic, confidence, stress, and hopefulness wage a war inside my body and head.  Sensations and my reactions to external stimuli are heightened.  Everything is brighter and louder.  Either that or I’m slightly more sensitive to things.  Regardless, every part of my body is working overtime.

XTC is a wonderfully manic new wave band.  A criminally underrated band as well.  Alan Partridge and Colin Moulding are both witty and keen about the world them.  They manage to tap into a neurosis and recondition it as interesting and lively pop music. On this track, the vocals are sharp and crisp.  As the instrumentation builds and the band comes together for the chorus, there is a sense of madness the surrounds you.  It is a clever juxtaposition from the verses which feature a prominent tambourine and militaristic sounding drumming style.  The song takes you from one extreme to another.  You’re bouncing around as this song manipulates and teases your every sense and perception of pop music.  It isn’t a song meant for casual listening.  It is far too engrossing.

I’m preparing for a family vacation next week.  When that starts, I plan on turning everything off.  My boss has been notified I will not answer emails or calls.  I am also making sure everything is taken care of before I leave.  That takes a lot of effort and preparation.  I’m confident things will go well, but you never know.  Until the moment I can switch everything off, my senses and me will be working overtime.

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