the xx – I See You: review

I See You, the xx. *****

It should come as no surprise that I See You is utterly, utterly fantastic. The singles Dangerous and On Hold are everywhere: flip between 6music and Radio 1 and there’s a fair chance you’ll hear these tracks back to back.

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On Hold is superb. The familiar soundscape of haunting melancholy and introverted vocals fades quickly in to something much more upbeat. Here it seems the xx have taken tracks like Islands and re-released them in Full HD. The influence of In Colour is all over this record.

With both singers having such unique voices, this change of direction for the band isn’t a departure from xx and Coexist but an evolution. The lyrical content remains reassuringly familiar, wrapped in the unmistakeable vocals of Romy and Oliver. But the production, the synthesisers, the flecks of steel pans and the loop pedals take the whole sound to a new level.

Being introverted has never meant the band lack confidence. It shines through on I See You. The radio airplay proves that. A sold-out seven night residency at Brixton Academy proves that emphatically.

There’s even moments on the record that are filled with optimism, such as Romy on I Dare You:

I’ve been a romantic for so long/all I’ve ever heard are love songs

There’s so much on I See You for old and new fans alike. Having seen the xx headline the Other Stage, they must be shoe-ins for at least the same spot at Glastonbury 2017.

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