Oh boys. Oh boys. Ohboysohboysohboys! What a fucking album ‘I See You‘ is. One of the best first time listens I’ve ever had, it’s almost flawless. To see where The xx have come from and see how they have progressed and changed without fearing the reaction is amazing. If you take anything away from any of my reviews then please take this, buy this album. I can’t recommend it highly enough. A record that is ahead of its time, relate-able, well written and as meaningful as anything you’ve heard before. It’s albums like this that make it easy for me to explain why I bother writing these reviews. It gets into your head, you’re totally focused on it and for 40 minutes or so it owns you. I’ve been throwing it on at every chance, listening to it twice through in succession, finding something new each time. If you thought The xx may have been limited in what they can write and record, wait until you hear this.
It would be hard to describe the album track by track because its the album as a whole that makes it what it is, but I’ll try. Jamie xx does play a major role in this album, far greater than the previous two. His recent album and music direction has affected them but in a very positive way. I wouldn’t say to totally forget the xx you knew of, but be prepared for something that is a drastic change from the norm. Tracks such as ‘A Violent Noise’ with its dance, disco beat mixed with Croft and Sim’s always reliable lyrics and worried tone’s makes for incredible listening, something that you may have thought wouldn’t suit them. It turns from a subtle intro into a dance track as the chorus comes in and as it gets louder Sim’s plays more to it. It’ll surely be released as a single because it suits both the radio and a college night in a nightclub.
‘Lips’ with its haunting opening and its jungle, bongo sound and quick lyrics continue the new sound trend. ‘Say Something Loving’ well, oh my god. What a track. Croft and Sim mean every word they share on this track ‘here come my insecurities, I almost expect you to leave’ is merely a snippet of how Croft conveys her emotions while Sim offers equally as much exposure to his feelings. ‘On Hold’, the first single released fits in perfectly toward the end and takes you back to the pop side of the album with its Hall & Oats sample, after more personal tracks such as ‘Performance’ and ‘Brave For You’, a song by Croft for her deceased parents-
‘So I will be brave for you
Stand on a stage for you
Do the things that I’m afraid to do
I know you want me to
I will be brave
I know you want me to’
‘I Dare You’ and ‘Test Me’ close out the album and ‘Test Me’ is excellent for its production as Jamie xx builds on the song itself constantly. Its somewhat eerie but a perfect finisher to this type of personal album. As I said already, I can’t recommend it highly enough. I’m going to plague all of my friends with non stop praise for it until they buy it. It’s their best album yet and them seem like they will only get better. Next stop, The xx live in Berlin.