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Wednesday, 11 January 2017 07:12

Review: The xx's Minimal Sound Gets Expansive Update on 'I See You'

Written by  Jon Dolan

For a band that often gets described as "minimal," the xx pack a massive amount of drama and emotion into their subtle music. The U.K. trio specialize in Zen restraint, blurring the line between indie guitar pop, R&B and dance music in stripped-down songs that are as sleek and eerie as they are weirdly inviting.

It's the perfect stark backdrop for the way bassist-vocalist Oliver Sim and guitarist-vocalist Romy Madley Croft build thick tension out of minute intimacy, doing more with awkward eye-contact, muttered confessions or mid-breakup negotiations than most bands do with a whole love affair.

On the first two xx albums, 2009's xx and 2012's Coexist, every bit of music – be it a ripple of reverb-heavy guitar or a dubby bass line or a distant drum hit – seemed organized for maximum less-is-more impact. Credit for that goes 
to the band's producer-drummer Jamie Smith (a.k.a. Jamie xx), who also moonlights as one 
of the best dance-music artists in the world (see the laid-back, highbrow house tracks on his 2015 solo LP In Colour). He really kicks up his game on the xx's third album, with a more expansive sound that's thick with disco throb, eclectic pop grandeur and big-
ballad hunger.

Read more at RollingStone

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