The xx always have a habit of existing in a quiet space. Despite this, their minimalist melancholy have a way of grabbing the public listener’s attention. Their debut self-titled album, released back in 2009, was met with much critical praise and mass popularity both in their native shores of London and in here these United States. There have been high expectations and heavy pressure on the band for their sophomore follow-up, especially after they kicked out original member Baria Qureshi, leaving the band with the original three of Oliver Sims, Romy Croft, and Jamie Smith (aka Jamie xx).
I’m glad to report then, that after taking their sophomore album Coexist, for a listen, is that there is a lot to like about it. Remember when I said earlier how The xx likes to work within a quiet space? This is even truer for Coexist. This is a very soft, quiet album that is almost experimental in its bare-bones approach. The beautiful vocal whisper interplay between Sims and Croft is highlighted because of this.
While some people might not the extreme minimalist direction that The xx went with this album, I highly enjoyed it. In my opinion, it’s better than their debut.
Check out the gorgeous, gorgeous live take on lead track Angels that The xx did at a Tokyo hotel embedded below.
The xx – Coexist comes out 9/11 via Young Turks (order here)