The XX utilize the indie pop sound to create a darker but more relaxed sound that creates an intimate experience with the listener. Not only is this good atmospheric music, but music that is fascinating and really strung well together. Crystalized is the first song that grabs my attention. The singing by Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim is very surreal. The guitar intro of this song gives me the chills and not knowing what's behind the door. The two singers complement each other, while Jamie XX provides the atmospheric sound effects in the background. The main chorus is very catchy, and the flow of the guitar creates an awesome sensation. The best song of this album is Islands mainly because the bass throughout this song is outstanding. Sim's voice creates a super chilling feeling. The drum beat can kind of get you dancing but really I'd rather just chill to this song. Heart Skipped a Beat has a very steady rhythm and one of the more upbeat songs on this record. On the other hand, Fantasy is a scary dark song. Sims takes this song by himself. It's very quiet, until some loud guitar notes and mixing come in, and make this a chilling experience. You feel like something tragic has just happened. Infinity is another quiet song that builds up to become a loud tense song. There's some really solid guitar playing and nice vocals from Croft. The outro of this song is where you hear the loudest notes. The debut album by The XX is quality work and nails what they're trying to accomplish. The XX make a name for themselves with this album and create their own distinct sound.
My rating: 8
The XX have a tough task to please fans with their second studio album. Angels is a very soft opening track. It provides a good melody and chilling vocals from Croft. Not something to get crazy over but at least it's pretty. Chained is a much better song. From the very beginning with the drum symbols being hit to the transition to a very nice beat created by the mixing and drums. The singing throughout is pretty great, and then that vintage XX sound comes in with a short guitar solo. The chemistry in the band is just there. Try is kind of tropical feeling, and I want to picture coconuts and a sunset on the beach. Sunset makes a very nice single. There are awesome drops throughout. The drum beat is something new, and you can hear the bass shaping the song. Not as crazy about the vocals as I am the rhythm and beat. Tides starts with Sim and Croft singing in unison. Once Jamie Smith contributes his touch this song becomes really good. One of the best rhythms I've ever heard out of the XX. These were the best songs I felt on this album. The rest of them were solid, but kind of dull at times. Coexist is a good second album by the band as they prove not to be just a one album band.
My rating: 7