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The xx : I See You

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With I See You, The xx come soaring back into our collective consciousness with their first album in almost five years.
 
There’s a great mix of the calm, reflective xx of old, and a new, more upbeat sound which permeates through the whole album, and showcases just what Jamie xx was talking about when he said this album was going to be "more outward-looking, open and expansive."
 
Lead single On Hold is probably the best example of this upbeat sound, and breaks new territory for the English trio. Complete with a drum machine and fantastic chorus, I was able to dance to an xx track for probably the first time ever (disregarding my interpretive dance efforts to Heart Skipped A Beat).
 
However one danceable track does not an album make, and the more traditional xx way of doing things is still very present on this album. Performance is a standout track which has quickly made its way onto my mental list of ‘really depressing songs’ and showcases Romy Madley Croft’s outstanding vocals.
 
Overall this album is everything it should be. Doing some of the old stuff The xx are so very good at, combined with a new direction which they already seem to have the hang of, I See You is a very early nomination for album of the year and it’s going to take something great to knock it off.
 
By Nathan Quattrucci