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James Blake

James Blake

February 7, 2011
4.2 out of 5 stars 76 customer reviews

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Product Details

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Red on Black TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 8, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
James Blake is a precocious talent and arrived with a large splash following his stunning cover of Feist's beautifully elegiac "Limit to your love" included here in all its slow burning glory. As an artist he is a disciple of the "less is more" school with this debut album characterized by a predominant sparsity in certain songs often stripping out layers of instrumentation in favour of voice, bass loops and synth (and in the case of Lindisfarne 1 a straight vocoderised acappella)

The album soulful opener "Unluck" does remind of Bon Iver's "Woods" from last years "Blood Bank EP" with its use of vocoder style vocals but ultimately differs with its deep clicks and an minimalist intensity. It is followed by "Wilhelm's scream" a song that has been distributed freely on music blogs and one that has spent so much time on my PC speakers it could claim squatting rights. The huge debt, which Blake owes to dubstep, is revealed and builds to a digital intensity around the continual refrain of the lines "I don't know about my love anymore/all I know is I'm falling". This should be the starting point for the curious listener. "I never learned to share" is again based around a repetitive lyric but with all sort of electronic shenanigans going on in the background almost suggesting a church like ambience.

Blake's debut is often an introspective and moody piece of work, which can make The XX look like the Beach Boys in the fun stakes. But this is not a criticism; with some songs drifting along at a snails pace it can lead you to think that they may have finished, yet it gives the album a Sinatra like "wee small hours" quality. This will mean that Blake's debut will primarily be a late night feast.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I'm digging this LP. The production quality of the vinyl is a bit rough. I actually ordered from Amazon, but my copy had defects in the surface material on the playing surface, and one of the holes in one of the LP discs was not drilled through. I sent my copy back (thank you Amazon) and ordered another copy from another vendor. I love the music though, that's why it gets 5 stars.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
The most exciting thing about this album is that I feel like we're glimpsing the future, the evolution, of music. Some describe it as minimal, and it is certainly deconstructed, but the music is surprisingly lush and meaty. James Blake is doing with music what Picasso did with paint. It's shockingly brilliant.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Listened to this over and over and over again.

I used to be obsessed with Lindisfarne II, before I got the album... would just put that on repeat online.

But I finally decided to "take a chance" and get the whole album.....

So then I obsessed over "The Wilhelm Scream" omg so amazing.... these two songs along sorta helped me calm down about love (falling in/out of love) ...but the whole album....

Really love the Feist cover "Limit to your Love".... and "Why Don't You Call Me"

But sometimes I just listen to this album 2 or 3 times in a row...

I've always been a fan of music that really explores sound but I did fear that this would be too much sound and too little music. But somehow it flows into this wonderful, lyrical, poetic piece. It might be haunting for some but I don't feel haunted... He just does such an amazing job of grounding this in gorgeous beats, notes, and tunefulness...

I don't know what story he's telling but I love it, whatever it is.

Beautiful.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There are probably some hard core James Blake fans out there who will go after everything he produces. I shudder to think.

I was attracted to Blake by his version of Joni Mitchell's 'Case Of You', and I was not disappointed by this album.

But to be blunt, there's only so much of this vocal effect one can take before one's eyes start rolling.

It is purely of its time, and it is an important album in that sense. I would like to see what Blake can do with an acoustic guitar..
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
As I entered my suite late at night overlooking the las vegas strip i decided to grab a beer and that id check out the artist james blake who i had just recently heard of. i purchased this album and let it go and i couldnt have picked a better album to check out for that moment as it set the mood just right. i let it play and every song on the album was fantastic and it gave me a moment i will never forget. the albums great and it was my first great moment for EDC 2013. i will be checking out the rest of his work ASAP.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Often in modern popular music, technology and studio wizardry are used as a way to overcompensate for lack of musical talent and ability. Autotune makes mediocre singers listenable. Loops and samples take the place of live instruments. But sometimes, when talented musicians make use of modern technology to explore and experiment, magic can happen. That's definitely the case with this album.

James Blake's soulful, world-weary voice sounds decades older than his 21 years. And although his vocals and some of his lyrics recall classic soul and blues records, he doesn't seem much interested in conventional song structure. Instead, his vocals are combined with minimalist but often jarring electronic beats, atmospheric soundscapes, and occasional live instruments.

The whole album evokes a mournful, elegiac feeling, as if it's an album recorded by a soul in transition ... mourning the loss and mistakes of one life, with a glimmer of hope for the next.
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