Album Review: James Blake – ‘James Blake’

This young artist is one who truly pushes musical boundaries to an entirely new level in his self-titled debut album. From ‘Unluck’ through to ‘Measurements’, Blake sophisticatedly transforms his genuine, classically trained talent into pure innovative, atmospheric genius. It is impossible not to lose oneself within his haunting vocals, simple and desolate, yet simultaneously beautiful. With clear dubstep and ambient infiltration, he uses musical electronics and synthesisers to create a sound that is both ethereal and captivating, highlighted most successfully by the track ‘I Never Learnt to Share’, which progresses from what could be described as merely vocals and empty space towards a riotous amalgamation of synthetic noise, centred around the repetition of just two lines of lyrics; ‘My brother and my sister don’t speak to me, But I don’t blame them.’

Simplicity, silence and sincerity are the key elements of the album, which make it truly stand out. Although chilling and minimalist on the exterior, Blake’s album exudes emotional intensity. Blake successfully explores music’s ability to fully enthral and mesmerise one’s mind when he sings, “All that I know is, I’m falling, falling, falling…” That makes two of us then, James. Fantastic album.


Sarah Dawood

…Sarah has been listening to:
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly – ‘Collapsing Cities’…


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