It’s no surprise that they’re making a very early claim for album of the year.
Label: Young Turks
Released: 13th January 2017
Straight from the opening stabs of ‘Dangerous’ – it’s obvious The xx have gone in a different direction for new album ‘I See You’. Gone (mostly) is the ambience of their first two records, replaced with the bombast Jamie xx explored on his solo album ‘In Colour’. At times it may feel like its straying towards a continuation of that record, but it most definitely isn’t. Quite the opposite – it feels like a band renewed with a point to prove.
The use of samples feels as if the band’s sound has gone in a completely different direction – particularly with single ‘On Hold’, and ‘Say Something Loving’. ‘A Violent Noise’ is a spectacular track bringing in Ibizan influences and mixing them perfectly with the vibe of The xx to the point where it may well be the best song they’ve ever written. ‘Performance’ is where the album gets closest to its two predecessors but still utilises the new sound perfectly while ‘I Dare You’ is a killer of a song with its beat steady throughout.
The remarkable thing about ‘I See You’ is that it doesn’t tire – quite the opposite, it grows with every single listen. For a band that’s sold out seven nights at Brixton, it’s no surprise that they’re making a very early claim for album of the year. Josh Williams