Monday, September 10, 2012

The XX


Young Turks/XL Recordings

This review is also be a big apology to the band. After I found out during a World CafĂ© interview that they were very young, their lyrics didn’t seem silly, just normal young adult angst. Listening to their debut again, I still wished for more music though. Even I liked the music better, it was still too minimal for my taste. With their new album, Coexist, my wish came true.

The music is filled out more on Coexist. Jamie’s synth textures and drums round out their sound nicely, and point to the future. Minimal doesn’t have to be bare bones. There is also more of Romy’s guitar, and I do like her guitar playing. Its spare, warm and nothing overplayed. She is also beginning to sing like Tracy Thorn.

Lyrically, “Angel” is a bit of a red herring, It’s a rare and wonderful happy love song that isn’t sappy or solipsistic. However, the rest of the lyrics are dark as pitch, and also much more interesting. They’re still young enough so that when their first meaningful relationship dissolves for Oliver and Romy, they don’t know what to do, and try not to fall apart. That’s normal and healthy growing pains. They’re old enough now to be wiser, and more self-aware. They’re starting to take off now that they’re in their 20s. What they will sound like when they hit 30 will be breathtaking.

If you want to hear their origins, the debut is now strongly recommended. But if you want to hear an album that is anything but a sophomore slump, Coexist is equally recommended. Coexist is great, and I hope it does as much, and hopefully more, in terms of success, as their debut. The music and lyrics are there, and if you have the ears to hear it, as I do now, you will be rewarded with an excellent album. []

Andrea Weiss

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