James Blake

Studio Album by released in 2011

James Blake review

A very serious step towards becoming the new 2011 year’s best debut

Today it is just essential to be special to be noticed. Technologies have reached such a high level that one can make practically any music with their help, and it the times when you could surprise someone with samples are left in the past. It looks like a young art school graduate from London named James Blake has realized his possibilities and found a perfect balance in uniting his music skills and electronic technologies. The musician released three EPs in a row last year, Bells Sketch, CMYK and Klavierwerke on which he consequently demonstrated his sense of rhythm, his capacity in the world of contemporary pop tendencies and a pianist’s talent. The intrigued audience has been anticipating to find out what is to follow, and the Internet users have already started to talk about James Blake’s self-titled debut album in December, the album being due out early in February. The hype around the record is not just an occasion – it really exceeds all yout expectations and glorifies James Blake’s name as of one of the best dubstep DJs of the present days making a very serious step towards becoming the new 2011 year’s best debut.

Early trends and strong vocals on James Blake

When the first single Limit To Your Love, Blake’s cover of Feist song from her 2007’s album The Reminder, was released last autumn it was clear that James was not simply going to put together his songs from the previous releases. He definitely does not belong to those who stops once reaching a point, and each of his debut album’s eleven tracks prove it. The single undoubtedly is one of the album’s highlights but far from the only one. The trends he started earlier get developed here and added by the unexpectedly strong and nice vocals greatly illustrated on the opener Unluck. This syncopated, nervously psychedelic composition will make you forget about everything you heard before and invite to James Blake’s unique world. There is a slight hint at R&B in the beat on Wilhelms Scream hidden in the fantastic noises and emotional vocals which almost turns into crying on I Never Learnt To Share, lasting almost five minutes and reminding of Antony And The Johnsons’ songs. Very graceful moments Lindesfarne I and Lindesfarne II conquer soft harmonious combinations of falsetto singing a dropping beat flavored with a complicated many-layered accompaniment. Distorted vocal parts add charm to the song To Care (Like You), making it more sensual and vulnerable until the rhythm does not start to get faster turning it into one of the most interesting compositions on the album. Nothing simpler is the number I Mind, abrupt, with a changeable hypnotizing beat and a wonderful melody, and Measurements closes this wonderful set to find James practicing his choir lessons and surely handing in an excellent piece of work.

James Blake starts this year at a very high level

James Blake’s debut album certainly promises a great deal of interesting material to follow it in future and gives you unforgettable impressions. His music is eccentric but not obtrusive, calm and dynamic, carefully thought through but looks like improvisation. Stylistically he does not stick to anything in particular easily creating the atmosphere of folk, pop lightness, psychedelic motifs and trip-hop’s volume but the final result is seamless, smooth and absolutely devoid of sharp angles. Unfinished phrases seem to state that the songs’ meaning is not in the lyrics but rather in the emotions the voice is expressing. Vocal parts are definitely as emotional and vulnerable as in the creations of Antony And The Johnsons, Noah And The Whale, Radiohead, Imogene Heap and Bjork which witnesses this guy’s great potentials. Thus, the album James Blake starts this year at a very high level, and young artists are going to have tough time trying to draw the attention to themselves. As for James Blake he surely has more unrealized ideas in store, and taking into account the speed with which he releases one impressive set after another we are only left to prepare ourselves for more surprises in the nearest future.