March 27, 2011 Leave a comment
So I figured I’d write up about James Blake’s new album, as I have listened to nothing else for the last week; maybe blogging will lift Blakes black-magic curse from my ears. Not that that’s a good thing.
Blakes music in short, is nothing short of… interesting. Now, an underwheleming opening line maybe, but it’s true. Blake experiments with classic genre conventions transform his music into an almost linear story-line experience which doesn’t have choruses and verses, just waves of thick, almost tangible baselines and beats.
Blake is not typical of most other electronica artists, in the way in which he implements ‘glitching’ and choppiness, almost sometimes, in detriment to the beauty of his songs. Blake can raise the level of intensity in a track to intrusive levels, perhaps to highlight turmoil behind the scenes of his incredible vocals. Vocals in which Blake’s voice cracks at it’s most heightened, unafraid to present his listeners with his apparent sensitivity.
Blake’s subject matter is unashamedly personal, with songs clearly identifiable about his mother and sister, others, just evolved wails of pain and haunting resonance. Blake sometimes understates his lyrics, by painting them on the canvas of his audio; letting percussion and vocals blend to create the song as a whole, showcasing neither one in particular.
Though Blakes album doesn’t flow track to track, each song in itself tells a story of it’s own, some with just repeated lyrics, focussing on perhaps a particularly memory of Blakes, others, extended streams of consciousness in which Blake beautifully vents into the microphone.
I really adore this album, however it may be officially defined. Blake blends his musical influences into a collection of songs that does not necessarily defy music conventions, but certainly manipulates them to create a sterling piece of musical performance that may just stay stuck in your head for weeks.
A fantastic album that I recommend you check out right now.
Download James Blakes self-titled album here.