James Blake “James Blake” (2011)

July 12, 2011

The debut studio album by James Blake surprisingly managed to climb to the UK Top 10. It was also the first release of 2011 to receive a 9.0 rating from Pitchfork. Now, if this is not an accomplishment, then what is? But James Blake deserves all the buzz for one reason only: it’s terrific. Smooth and glitchy by turns, the record has one of the strongest songwriting I have heard this year. Blake proves he is the genius of post-dubstep as he reaches for emotions with minimal means. And the songs are simply beautiful. On The Wilhelm Scream the singer builds a cathedral of intricate sounds just to destroy it in a spectacular finale. I Never Learnt to Share is based on a mystery we will never discover. Lindisfarne II is Blake at his most optimistic. Sorry for the banality but this track soundtracks a happy life. The shaky To Care (Like You) does not demand a meditation but action. And of course there is Feist’s Limit to Your Love (not one of my favourites, though). Notice: headphones are highly required!

hydrameter: 4/5

Key Tracks: I Never Learnt to Share, Lindisfarne II, The Wilhelm Scream, To Care (Like You)

Watch The Wilhelm Scream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isIABK-0ohQ&ob=av2e

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