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The xx releases new album

Eric Ryan, Entertainment Editor

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Coming off the success of his solo debut “In Colour,” DJ Jamie xx rejoined his bandmates Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim in The xx on Jan. 13 for their third album “I See You.”

The minimalist indie pop band was looking to stray from the sound of their original releases “Coexist” and “xx,” attempting to emulate the tips and tricks that the producer had learned working alongside artists like Young Thug and Popcaan, and while it seems like the album sounds as if it’s building towards some crescendo, ultimately it seems that most of the tracks only stay on the rise.

The xx’s first sound that they were trying to stray from creates a sense of ambiance that can fill a room, and the minimalist structure of songs like “VCR” or “Intro” help drive the feeling of fullness home.

The juxtaposition generally works in the band’s favor, and straying from sounds is a bold if not bright move, as many bands get caught on the sound that made them popular in the first place.

This type of evolution does not always come with the promise that the new sound will be good. Sometimes the risk outweighs the reward. The solo album Jamie xx put out was an example of those risks turning into success, with a fantastic album that topped a lot of 2015 best of lists with its highly acclaimed production value.

However, that sound that Jamie xx is trying to evolve to doesn’t quite hit the mark just yet with the rest of the band. Even though they were featured in “In Colour,” it seems that the creative control dealt to them was not enough to be on the same wavelength as Jamie xx would have liked.

Where the beats and production sound grandiose, the vocals seem to be captured straight out of the earlier two albums and the mix doesn’t sound quite up to par. While they may have worked earlier, it just seems that Jamie xx gave them a fantastic playground and they sound bored, which is really something that is a shame to say about either singers, as their earlier work is splendid.

Overall, it seems like the latest album is filled with potential that hasn’t been met yet, which is a shame because the first single “On Hold” really put the idea that this would be something fresh and new into the forefront of this album’s news.

The listening experience isn’t unbearable, and the songs have a certain charm to them, even if they feel like they don’t have enough of a wow factor. It seems as if this release will go down as yet another album that can be easily forgotten if left alone, but in no way, shape or form should The xx be counted out in the immediate future.

Eric Ryan is a third-year student majoring in English writing track. He can be reached at [email protected]

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The Student News Service of West Chester University
The xx releases new album