Wednesday, February 9, 2011

James Blake - James Blake (2011)

To survive, music genres stick to other sounds, they evolve and turn themselves into other thing they weren’t before, on this note its logical that a genre so popular in the past like R&B evolved into new sounds and new forms of experimentation, that’s how in 2010 not only did Lo-Fi projects like How To Dress Well started creating a notoriety towards .R&B in the indie scene, but also started putting an end to the prejudice for some years I feel everyone has been putting to the genre.

I remember loving R&B even before loving hip hop, artists like Erykah Badu, Sade, Lauryn Hill or R. Kelly had this sort of pure vibe of hip hop but apparently that got old and R&B started to mix with pop, and some of them were nice, like Justin Timberlake bringing sexy back, but the thing is that R&B up until How To Dress Well was losing its appeal to the indie and underground movements, somehow it became too mainstream.

With the mainstream appeal of R&B is no wonder that Dub Step have had such a fast and consolidated growth the last years, and I say Dub Step because it doesn’t have the hip hop beats, and it kind of sounds like hip hop sometimes but has a bit more soul and rhythm, just like R&B, that’s why for some it might be a surprise to listen the new James Blake for some, if How To Dress Well was the R&B Lo-Fi attempt of R&B lacking production, James Blake is the sublimation of the sound.

Some songs recall sounds of Bon Iver and have a very experimental and ethereal edge abruptly interrupted by walls of sound and distortions of different kinds, also the most amazing surprise is that this UK DJ now sings and boy what a voice, the series of EP’s he had released last year capture his ability to create an atmosphere, his ability to make echo, void, emotions into sound with very few lyrics and voices, and for this LP the voice is used as one port part of the intentional atmosphere.

Some are saying that it lacks a concept, that is just a display of well produced sounds and that James Blake fans will say things like “you’re missing the concept dude…you just don’t get it”, my saying goes beyond…what is it to get? Why does it need to have a concept when what’s on display has enough quality to make you fall deeply in love with it, if so, the emotions and free interpretations are what this LP is all about, amazingly good echoes, amazing vertigo playing with silence and sounds, really good intervention of a really amazing vocals and even some piano ballads.

This is yet another amazing album of 2011, and if things keep going this way we’ll have a milestone in music history…the year is starting and there is still more to come.


1. Unluck
2. Wilhelms Scream
3. I Never Learnt To Share
4. Lindesfarne I
5. Lindesfarne II
6. Limit To Your Love
7. Give Me My Month
8. To Care (Like You)
9. Why Don't You Call Me
10. I Mind
11. Measurements

Rate: 9/10

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