The XX - XX
Very promising - Teaspoon
How many London-based foursome-gone-threesome soft pop/electro bands can you think of? What about ones who have both male and female singers? Of the many wonders that 'XX' has to offer, originality is certainly one of it's strong points. Fans of Elbow, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Temper Trap may find some comfort here, as the album is (although still original, I'm no hypocrite) similar to the work of all of them. The songs themselves mainly consist of simplistic guitar riffs backed by slightly more complex drum beats (that are synthesized I believe, don't quote me though) with both Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim breathily singing down the microphone. It's certainly a nice break from an ever-growing music world full of up-tempo auto-tuned dance tracks, but it won't suit everyone's tastes. The first 5 songs seem to be the strongest, but that's not to say that the other half is just there filling up empty space. The XX's B-sides much better than the average British pop/rock band's A-sides. 'Crystalised' shows the full potential of the band; complimenting both the eerie and omnipresent sound of the guitars and the romantic, breathy sound of the vocalists, but not forgetting the beautifully crafted lyrics that Lady Gaga could never dream to conjure. 'Night Time' makes nice use of soft and dynamic guitar work, while again refining both Croft and Sim's dreary, dreamy vocals. 'Stars' is probably the weakest, but only because of the similarity between the backing guitar and the rest of the album (but the piano adds a pretty, almost spooky touch that the rest of the album does not seem to reach). Even then, it is hard to fault this piece. An excellent début from what looks like a promising London band. The question is though, with the departure of Baria Qureshi and with such a high standard set, could they possibly do it again? It remains to be seen.
Review published on the 22 October 2010 20:35
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