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Three years later, Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith release Coexist, and a new perspective. Where xx lent in close to whisper in your ear, Coexist gazes warmly in your eyes. Much has happened to lead to this point: most pertinently, they ve grown up.
Previously cast as the quietest of the three, Jamie became the public face of The xx in 2011. In-between DJ gigs, he focused on growing his production skills, developing a distinct sound and presence. His remix of Adele s "Rolling In The Deep, " re-imagining of Gil Scott-Heron s final album on We re New Here with its defining single "I ll Take Care Of U, " and his debut solo single "Far Nearer" set him apart as a highly regarded producer in his own right. That position was cemented when Drake asked Jamie to produce the title track of his album Take Care, inspired by "I ll Take Care Of U."
Above all, though, Coexist is an album of confident adult reflection. "Angels, " sung by Romy, is a perfectly distilled love song. Its counter is "Fiction" led by Oliver, a bittersweet ballad that s strength lies in naming its fear. What has changed for The xx? Nothing, and everything. Older and wiser, surer yet still so tender, Coexist finds itself on the other side of heartbreak, when the light returns.
Top Customer Reviews
The band has largely preserved their sound even with the departure of guitarist Baria Qureshi who left in 2009. Qureshi, who left in 2009 due to personal differences, was not replaced, and the band has moved forward as a 3-piece. Unfortunately, the prominent guitarwork that made songs like "Untitled" and "Crystalised" so irresistible is missing on COEXIST, but the band is able to compensate for this absence through other means.
Most of the COEXIST's music is created with minimal instrumentation and a touch of reverb; every now and then, new instruments enter the fold, notably a steel drum ("Reunion"). The album starts off with "Angels." It's the album's lead single, and the song is surprisingly bare - Madley Croft's vocals are complimented by spare instrumentation, but the song relies completely on her voice to sell it. Not only does this track set the tone for COEXIST, but it's one of the highlights on the album. "Chained" introduces slightly more instrumentation, but not much - the album rarely rises above a whisper.Read more ›
Anyway, I read the reviews that are here and I really felt that another side should be heard.
I had never even heard of XX before the release of this album. I saw a link to the full album on Reddit and gave it a listen. The first time through I was initially interested and within a few minutes I was moving on to other things while it played in the back ground. I thought this meant it wasn't that good, at first. But then I found myself wanting to listen to it again and again. I would have lyrics repeating in my head a lot, in a good way. Then I realized it's value to me. It's the perfect mellow out background music because it's not overpowering but still pleasant and leaves me feeling happy. So, I give it 5 stars because I liked it so much I'm buying it right now. It is what it is, and if you leave your focus on that it's nice. I'm off now to check out their other album that so many of you loved.
Ultimately, I like it (more than most, apparently) and it seems like the perfect antidote to the "maximalist" overstuffed music of much indie pop/rock (I'm looking at you, Centipede Hz) as well as the typical autotuned, overproduced Top 40 R&B.
Of course those looking for minimalist indie alternative soul music in this vein would probably just prefer to listen to the xx's awesomer debut instead. Not a great leap forward for this band, but a nice companion piece.
"Coexist" (11 tracks; 37 min.) starts off with "Angels", a very quiet and minimalist track, as if we were dropped straight halfway into an album. "Chained" is slightly more beat-oriented. The first song on here that truly peaks my interest is "Try", one-third into the album. "Sunset" is another intriguing tune. But let's be honest: most of the songs on here are introverted, pensive and moody. If that is what you are ready for, then this album is for you. For those that write that "Coexist" picks up where the debut album left off, I respectfully disagree. The XX had a choice to make with this second album: stick to the tried-and-true formula of the debut album, go for even more dance-oriented material, or make a left turn altogether and become more introspective. The band chose the latter direction, and that's fine. Sometimes I'm in the mood for something like this. But "Coexist" is NOT "The XX 2".
Last weekend I saw The XX in concert at the Corona Capital music festival in Mexico City (the Mexican equivalent of Coachella). Once again., the live set was outstanding. The band divided their set evenly between the two albums (playing 8 tracks from each), and I must tell you that each one of the 8 tracks from "Coexist" sounded so much better (bigger, harder, more thrilling) live than it does on the album. If you have a chance to see The XX in concert, do not miss them!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very subtle and mellow, but artfully crafted. The song simplicity is channeled well, and vocal performances are enjoyable too. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Matt H
So the first time I experienced the hypnotic sounds of The XX was on the tv show "Person of Interest", a season 4 episode 7 called Honor Among Thieves. Read morePublished 1 month ago by David Lee
Fantastic album. Great vocals, great beats. Excellent for mellowing out.Published 1 month ago by SueF
Absolutely amazing and exactly what my daughter wanted for Christmas. AMAZING. :)Published 2 months ago by DSW
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