It’s been a while since we’ve had a new The XX album. Which is a good thing, since I was wondering where they’d take their sound after their first 2 albums. Coexist already sounded like they’ve used up all the tricks in their arsenal, creating an album that in sound and feel was almost an identical copy of it’s predecessor, for better or for worse. So the question was, would this just be an exact copy of their previous efforts, or would there be new dimensions to their sound?
Luckily, it’s the latter. This record feels like they’ve completely revitalized themselves. The biggest reason behind this is, if I may guess, Jamie XX. This album sounds so rich instrumentally, and has so much more emotions and moods, that I can only imagine him taking more of the reigns after his solo album and steering this one in the right direction.
The classic XX components are still present of course. The dual vocals of Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim are still as gorgeous as ever, and the instrumentation is still pretty minimal. But instead of only emitting sadness, there’s just a much broader spectrum on display here. Which makes for a muchmore diverse and interesting listen.
My favourite track is Say Something Loving. The depth and urgency, the longing is masterfully emoted here. Fantastic.
If you loved The XX before, this album will make you fall in love all over again. They’ve done that most difficult of things : reinventing yourself while still keeping your original sound. A great record for all seasons.