The XX’s previous, debut, and self-titled album was incredible. It made me realize that critiquing music based upon how “full” it sounded was something I was completely wrong about. So when I learned that The XX would be coming out with a new album, I was excited, and nervous at the same sound. Where can a band go after they create a new sound; they can’t present the same sound as revolutionary twice.
When I first listened to the album, to tell the truth, I couldn’t get past the first track, “Angels”, because it was just so darn good. It was almost like a fresh breath of air that reminded me of everything I loved about the old album, as if to say “Yeah, we’re still that good.” It had all the great elements of a great The XX song. Sweet vocals, a driving bass, simple guitar, and “as in love with you as I am,” has been stuck in my head since the first time I listened to it.
The rest of the album has a similar sentimental feel that brings you back to however you felt about the first album, but it doesn’t get much better than the first track. That said, they are all solid, the whole album follows the classic XX sound, simple music, great lyrics and harmony.
They do branch out with some instrumentation on this album. The use of Steel Drums in the song “Reunion” is just killer. (Although between this “Reunion” and M83’s track of the same name, it would probably be a toss-up for me in a battle between the two.) The high hat lead in to “Chained” is also a step away from the first album that makes the whole song sound different, in a really good way.
Overall, as my good friend and fellow reviewer David Christians summed it up, this album is a lot like its album cover. It’s simple but enjoyable. It’s very similar to the band’s last one, but not in a bad way, because they are both awesome. It’s definitely worth listening to.
Rating: W — P — G
Key Tracks: “Angels”, “Reunion”, and “Chained”
RIYL: The Temper Trap, Bon Iver (“For Emma, Forever Ago”, specifically), Crystal Castles, and Miike Snow
Check out : “Angels” here: