London-based pop group The xx just released their new album on Jan. 13, 2016. Titled I See You, this album changes everything you think you knew about The xx. The group started “in a bedroom in south west London, after school, drinking too much Pepsi,” according to their Facebook page, and now they are on a European and North American tour and have released their third album. Looks like their bedroom got a whole lot bigger.
Their new album, I See You, is much more out there than their first two, but it works. The opener, “Dangerous” is a fun jump into the new album with great harmonies from the two lead vocalists, Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim. This track has potential to be a dance track — it definitely gets the feet tapping. Later in the album, “Performance” changes the trajectory of I See You. With Madley Croft on vocals, she produces a haunting melody to capture the audience’s attention, getting goosebumps the whole way through. The album changes again with “On Hold.” This track starts as a soft piece with beautiful vocals and evolves into an enjoyable melody with some rhythm that will make you want to move, courtesy of Jamie Smith, the man behind the beats. The album’s closure “Test Me” really ties the whole album together. Croft’s and Sim’s voices clash to make a poignant melody with so much feeling behind it. This song tells the story of conflict and struggle that the group has had to overcome in the past years. Songs like this with deeper meaning are what makes The xx who they are.
Compared to their first two albums, I See You has something different. There is more emotion behind these lyrics and it’s much more expressive. The group reported that this album would have “a completely different concept” and that it did. The xx took a big risk making this album, but it paid off.
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“I See You” Shows a New Side of The xx. Image courtesy of The xx.