Read the Dynamic Headroom review of the new album from the The xx – I See You.
The xx in one paragraph
The xx are a British band consisting of Oliver Sim, Romy Croft and Jamie Smith. This is their third studio album which comes 5 years after the second album Coexist. When the debut album, “xx” was released in 2009 it brought a refreshing, modern and somewhat minimal sound to the mainstream. The style of music is very distinctive so I take my hat off to anyone who can make something sound so unique these days.
In 2015, Jamie Smith (a.k.a Jamie xx) released a solo album called In Colour. If you haven’t heard this, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? I highly recommend it and it remains one of my favourite albums still. In Colour has a similar minimal, melodic style to The xx but is more “ravey” and more varied in style – thanks to a number of collaborations.
I see you
So here we are in 2017 and listening to I See You. This album is instantly recognisable as being very-xx-like. I don’t mind that; in fact, I sometimes find it frustrating when artists try to be something they are not and end up missing the mark entirely.
You can hear the influences from Jamie xx’s In Colour in this new album, but it still stays true to The xx formula. All the tracks have vocals and are produced in that minimal melodic style that made the group so popular back in 2009. The standout tracks for me are “Say Something Loving” and “A Violent Noise”.
Many of the tracks sound like they are the breakdown to a dance track and you are kind of waiting for the beat to come in, but it doesn’t. Not a problem though – you can’t beat a good melody, and there are a few of those in this album.
If you liked the other two xx albums or you like Jamie xx’s In Colour then its safe to say you will like this too. For me, In Colour still pips I See You, but that may just be my personal preference. On a decent hi-fi this album will sound fantastic, so give it a try and see if it works for you.