Monday, June 8, 2015

Best New Album: Jamie xx's 'In Colour'

If you've been watching Jamie xx's ascent since his acclaimed beginnings as part of indie-rock band the xx, his work with Gil Scott-Heron, last year's "All Under One Roof Raving" and wicked remixes in between, you're likely as unsurprised as the rest of us that his official debut album is every bit as praise-worthy as expected.

All of the songs are good. As is the case with everything electronic that Jamie xx (born Jamie Smith) releases, In Colour is heavily influenced - too eclectically influenced to rhyme off the genres and icons - painting different dreamy pictures of what goes on inside the cool underground rave that is Jamie xx's brain. It's straightforward, intimate and pulls in everything you'd want to hear from the young British producer.

And what I think is the sign of any great release, is that the uncomplicated and emotive "filler" tracks are just as ear-catching as showier, spotlighted singles like "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)," "Gosh" and "Loud Places" (with fellow xx-er, Romy). There's the dark and twinkly "Hold Tight" and "Stranger in a Room" (voiced by other xx member Oliver Sims), the colourful, steel drum-driven "Obvs" and pulsing "The Rest is Noise," which have just as much substance, but are willing to lurk quietly in the in between. Kind of like Jamie himself.

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