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The opening track, "Intro," is amazing on its own. Instrumental, if you consider their vocalization (without lyrics) an instrument. It sets the tone for the entire album, withe a chill yet building sound, and an ever thumping bass. The music seems simple, but fresh. There are moments in the album where the repeated echoing notes remind me of early Interpol and some of the riffs harken late 80s new wave, but I have a hard time drawing real parallels to other bands. Some of the lyrics make me nostalgic for a modern/retro 90s life I've never had ("watch things on vcrs, with me &talk about Big Love"), and the almost-fuzzy, understated-but-prominent male and female vocals, which both compete & come in as a chorus, remind me of some lazy love affair. Actually, the entire album seems to be an ode to this lazy love affair.
This really is my favorite debut of 2009. Incredibly impressive and something you want to get your hands on, I promise. Here's the tracklist, since amazon.com doesn't have one up yet:
05. Heart Skipped A Beat
08. Basic Space
10. Night Time
I didn't even have to listen all the way through; I was hooked by the first spare atmospheric guitar pluckings on the unfortunately-titled "Intro." (I only complain because it seems like a dismissive title; the song is so much more than a mere lead-in to other things.) Granted, I was predisposed to like it; I'd been seduced from afar by the rave reviews, the sexy group name and album title--is anything sexier than an X? Yes, four Xs--and the cool mystique. But there's a lot of well-reviewed stuff that sounds good in the dim light of a first encounter but doesn't hold up to the morning's harsh judgment, and the harsher judgment of succeeding days.
This, on the other hand, turned out to be one of those albums that gets better and better as I get to know it; I listen to such albums and end up almost amazed that they didn't already exist somehow; there is something primal and right about them, something sonically equivalent to a tetris piece that materialized from nowhere and fell exactly into a deep hole inside me that I somehow hadn't noticed before.
Granted, this album works partly by evoking other great albums that have come before, all the masterpieces of shoegaze and dubstep and trip-hop; in some ways it succeeds more as culmination and synthesis than as departure. Still, it succeeds at both; it differentiates itself because it manages to be warm and cool at the same time, without being lukewarm.Read more ›
While the CD version sounds good, this album really shines when it comes to the sonic quality of the LP. Vocals are crisp, clean, colored beautifully, drum sounds range from paint-peeling booms to subtle splashes, the synth and guitar lines are full of excellent timbral choices and are balanced in the mix with care.
If you have nice audio equipment, this LP will reward your ears.
Additionally, the song-writing is clever and inspired. The performances are well executed and the album has a pleasant variety of styles.
Highest recommendation here! Enjoy!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's my fault for waiting to play the vinyl until 5 days after the return deadline, but I just found out on my first play that I received a defected album. Read morePublished 1 day ago by illuminator77
This is such a beautiful album but I've had to return it twice. When I received the record both times it was very warped and would skip throughout the whole thing. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Sydney
The vinyl version of this fantastic album represents my first major disappointment since I started my record collection. Read morePublished 10 days ago by ShinKyo81
I am always so pleased to find new bands online and my discovery of the xx was amazing. Great album, awesome band. If you've never listened to the xx, you definitely should. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Bre
Did not expect the cover to look this bad, it's an X cropped out of the sleeve instead of a print. It's just ugly cardboard which will get damaged eventually. Read morePublished 1 month ago by doc_akh
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