-- if you don't like music(k), we don't like you --

Monday, 21 December 2009

Musick's Top 20 Albums: 3

The xx – xx



With a musical palette as minimal as the artwork and a live presence that bordered on the comatose, these four (as they were then - Baria Qureshi has since left) ridiculously young Londoners took hold of the latter quarter of 2009 with their beautiful, drip-feed pop. Centred around the loving glances cast between lead singers Romy Croft and Oliver Sim, there's a strange atmosphere that runs throughout the album, the listener feeling as if he or she is intruding on a private conversation. Musically, it's a skeletal mix of spindly guitar lines, atmospheric drum patterns and little else. In fact, it's so minimal and patient that when it does reach a relative crescendo or a shift in pace it can feel like the biggest rush. 'Islands' is as pacey as it gets, Croft and Sim exchanging coy lines over a pattering drum sound, whilst the album drifts into beautiful stillness with the closing 'Stars'. Taking its cue from acts like Aaliyah as much as the more obvious influences such as The Cure (at least in terms of their favourite colour; black), xx was the sound of youthful exuberance tinged by dark nights and lack of sleep.

Key track: 'Crystalised'

1 comment:

  1. made some changes, reads a bit better now....

    With a musical palette as minimal as a fart in the wind and a live presence that bordered on the comatose, these four ridiculous Londoners took hold of the latter quarter of 2009 with their sulky, arse-fed poop. Centred around the cross eyed lead singers Romy Croft and Oliver Sim, theres no atmosphere running throughout the album, the listener feeling as if he or she is listening to a private conversation of someone on a train that they are unable to avoid but which is so inanely dull you contemplate throwing yourself out the carriage doors to leave your life at the mercy of the wheels. Musically, it's a skeletal mix of boring guitar lines, atmospheric arse patterns and little else. In fact, it's so minimal and patient that when it does reach a relative crescendo or a shift in pace you've already given up caring. 'Islands' is where crates of this nobb wash of an album should be shipped to and buried. Croft and Sim exchanging lumps of their own poo over a pattering drum sound, whilst the album drifts into more stillbornness with the closing 'Stars'. Taking its cue from acts like Ladywanke as much as the more obvious influences such as the cast of Skins, xx was the sound of the indie hype machine being so shamefully wrong about a band that its embarrased to admit it and proceeds to whack it in every end of year list if the record company pay for their xmas dinner.

    ReplyDelete