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James blake

Overgrown

James Blake - 2013

Overgrown won the Uk’s Mercury prize this year, which is great for Blake, but the award was given one James Blake album too late. Blake’s debut self titled album from 2011 was beat out for the prize by PJ Harvey’s “Let England Shake”, which still baffles me. His debut is a feast for your headphones. It’s unique and challenging, with its looped vocals, dub step beats, and moody textures. Overgrown continues along some of those lines, but where his debut relied on Blake’s production to build songs out of fragments, using sparse lyrics, and repetitive loops, Overgrown sees Blake pushing his abilities as a singer/songwriter. To his credit, his voice has a gorgeous, almost R&B flavor to it, which can work really well. The first single off of the album, “”Retrograde”, is a great example of this. There is still plenty to enjoy on this album as far as production. The reverbs are warm and rich, and there’s still some of Blake’s looping vocals. The added emphasis on a slightly more traditional song/lyric style is what takes away a bit from what the first album had in spades. The album is not as striking as the first one, probably because the first is always the first, and you can’t get that new experience back. Maybe with time Blake’s songwriting ability will catch up to his production skills, and he’ll make the definitive James Blake album. (or maybe he already did in 2011) I’m still glad that Blake won the prize, as it is encouraging that artists like him can win awards over the usual pop divas and corporate rockers. Overgrown is a definite recommended listen and worth coming back to now and again.

Posted by Tambe

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Comments

I enjoyed this album more than his debut. That being said, I loooooved his debut album. Was this statement insightful? No, not really.

Posted about 5 years ago by MoiAndrew Scott

I love both of these albums, but there isn't a song that captures my attention every time on the s/t that a song like Retrograde or Life Round Here (the remix as well is fantastic) and that's why I enjoy this album.

Posted about 5 years ago by ImageMichael Di Gennaro

Andrew, since you enjoyed it soooooo much, I assume a review of your own is on tap. Maybe a spot in your ten.

Posted about 5 years ago by TambegifTambe

Posted: 12/01/2013

Review by:

Tambegif

Tambe


Tambe ranks this as the
#7 favorite album of 2013

Rating: