Album review: The XX – I See You

Published January 31, 2017

Album Release date:  January 13, 2017

8.5/10

“Do I chase the night or does the night chase me?
They all say I will become a replica
Your mistakes were only chemical” taken from ‘The Replica’ by The XX.

A beautiful, yet haunting 39 minutes that touches that perfect nerve in 2017, where for the time being, the world around us seems unsettled.

The XX hit the perfect chord almost every time with I See You.   Their tracks are barren, simple, slick, yet they feel lush because the gaps between the notes is filled up by our imaginations.  Their vocals ring in at the perfect time, often creating their own harmony that exceeds their brilliant pop hooks.   Tracks like ‘Replica’, ‘I Dare You’, ‘On Hold’ and ‘Lips’ are killer tracks — and are just a few of the deep album cuts driving this album to debut at #2 in the US.

It’s no longer a surprise that a once tiny, obscure London threesome would jump to the top of the charts with three albums that truly still sound a lot alike.   But for a band such as the XX – it’s a good thing that the emotional vibe of their tracks has remained largely static. They seem to be perfecting their craft; doing things better than the time before.  It only takes that right spark for a band to become huge, and the XX has found lightning in a bottle a couple times.

The harmonies are gorgeous highlighted by the playback of male and female lead vocals throughout.  Lead members Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie XX add sex appeal to the record without being overtly visual.  Their vulnerable, breathy delivery is defining their records.  I See You‘s simplicity is its real beauty, and the hooks they’ve incorporated into their tracks bring about the most catchy, killer, mature pop album we’ve heard in months.

–TWTHS

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