7/10 orchestral maneuvers in the dark.
James Blake’s transition from post dubstep producer to contemporary songwriter was something akin to the metamorphosis of a ghost assuming form. Blake has certainly come a long way from the spectral tones of his applauded debut, and this first album since moving to LA sees yet another character come into focus.
Out goes the skeletal choirboy and in comes the A-list collaborator recently sought out by Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar. The result is a revelation. On the title track, with its intoxicating mix of orchestral strings and subtle electronica, even Blake sounds rather startled as he sings about this new presence.
Set free to fully explore his own abilities, he conjures hauntingly beautiful melodies that touch on vintage Hollywood scores, as well as Lauren Canyon’s sun-kissed folk and contemporary hip-hop. It’s the sound of an artist truly finding his feet and being confident in pushing his own boundaries – a real joy to behold.
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Sophomore album from Wisconsin-based nu-folk collective.
James Vincent McMorrow Post Tropical
Blake contemporary on fine form.
Beck Morning Phase
Sea Change revisited by pop’s great chameleon.