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XX Import

4.3 out of 5 stars 321 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

2009 debut album from the London-based quartet who combine beautiful, hushed vocal duets and a brilliantly inventive use of samples and low-end frequencies to produce stark, sweet melancholic Pop. Comprising Jamie Smith, Baria Qureshi, Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft, The xx came to prominence with their gorgeous 'Crystallized' single from earlier in the year. The song was possibly the best dueling boy/girl vocal track since... 'Nothing Better' by the Postal Service? 'No Hope for Us' by Arab Strap? Not like we're keen on hyperbole or anything, but the Big Pink and Micachu and the Shapes have both taken the band on tour with them, so they clearly share our excitement over this lot. XL Recordings. 2009.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 18, 2009)
  • Imported ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Xl Recordings Int'l
  • ASIN: B002DESIE6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (321 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #458,591 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Barr on August 25, 2009
Format: Audio CD
The xx have been all over blogs for a while now, and I first caught a track from them when their demos were leaked online. It was "Crystalised" and I was totally in love. When XX was released last week, I immediately bought it, and it has been playing through my headphones and speakers ever since.

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:

01. Intro
02. Vcr
03. Crystalised
04. Islands
05. Heart Skipped A Beat
06. Fantasy
07. Shelter
08. Basic Space
09. Infinity
10. Night Time
11. Stars
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Format: Audio CD
I've had this on constant replay for the last couple days and am now on about my 12th listen, and I'm still captivated. This is one of the most impressive albums that I've heard in some time. Imagine 17 Seconds era Cure with Elizabeth Fraser from the Cocteau Twins sharing lead vocals, produced by Timbaland. That's the starting point for this bewitching set of tunes. From the opening INTRO through to the closing STARS, every song is a highlight and flows perfectly into the next one. Languid guitars, spare beats and casual, conversational tag team male-female vocals created a dreamlike sound with plenty of space and emotion. I'm cueing it up for another listen. Very highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
From the opening notes of "Intro," I think it's obvious that this band is on to something. People often say Spoon's strength lies in their ability to edit their sound until only the bare essentials of music are left: a beat and a melody. Well whatever it is that Spoon got onto, The XX seem to have taken it a step further, somehow managing to cut their sound down even further. This is certainly a challenging album, but it's simultaneously incredibly rewarding once you really get into the groove. The band's female singer has a beautiful, sultry voice, and she's perfectly suited to the band's lean, taut style. However, because the band's sound is so idiosyncratic, I would highly recommend that prospective fans try before they buy. Even if this is one of the year's best debuts, it is also going to be a divisive album, and it really isn't for everyone. But if you can give the record a few spins, I think just about anyone will be able to get why these guys have been picking up rave reviews across the internet.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I fell for this album at first listen.

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.
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Format: Vinyl
Irrespective of one's taste in music, this album (the vinyl edition, in particular) is one of the best produced albums in years. If you are a serious fan of top-quality audio, I heartily recommend you check out this record.

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!
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