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New Music: Jamie xx

By Jason Herring, June 4 2015 —

The hype surrounding Jamie xx’s new album, In Colour, was rightfully massive. The London-based music producer and member of acclaimed band The xx gradually released a series of spectacular singles over one year to tease his debut full-length album, finally released on June 1.

Hype is both a blessing and a curse. It gets people excited about an album’s release, but can also make expectations unrealistically high.

Although In Colour is a little disappointing, it’s unsurprising the album isn’t the game-changer many thought it would be. Even still, Jamie xx pulls out incredible tracks sure to be club staples for years to come.

The album starts strong with the bold “Gosh,” which begins with only a chopped vocal sample and mechanical percussion before slowly adding instrumentals to flesh out the song. It then culminates in a beautiful synthesizer solo. The progression is astonishing and the fact that Jamie xx manages to seamlessly merge the track together is a testament to his production skills.

The most impressive track on the album is “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times),” a track combing a nostalgic steel drum beat with this year’s best hook. American rapper Young Thug performs on the song and fits with the carefree atmosphere of the track. The song is funky and endlessly fun. It’s going to be an anthem. ENT_JamieXX

Not all the tracks on the album are as stunning as these singles, but they’re still fun offerings that put a fresh spin on dance music from previous decades. The only true letdown is “Stranger in a Room.” The track is musically uninteresting by Jamie xx’s standards and is dragged down by Oliver Sim’s lifeless guest feature.

Most songs on In Colour aren’t full of original ideas, but that’s not the point. Jamie xx’s tracks are lurid and mesmerizing excursions that are a blast to listen to. He accomplishes the difficult task of creating music with a truly magnetic quality. Consider yourself lucky if you get a chance to see this guy live in July at the Hi-Fi Club.

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