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“In Colour” by Jamie xx Review

1st June was a momentous occasion, not only was it the day I spent my birthday in the library revising but it was also the day the long-awaited album from Jamie xx dropped. I’m going to decide which was worse.

To sum it up, yes this album fell below expectations. This is an album any generic politician will say they enjoy simply because it’s ‘safe raving’ and will be some way to ground yourself to the youth. ‘In Colour, simply is not the album we were expecting to drop when we first heard ‘Far Nearer’. Even with this hard smack down, it was not a total disaster. Tracks such as ‘Sleep Sound’, ‘Girl’ and ‘Loud Places’ (Ft. Romy) still hold their appeal. Even listening to mixed-opinion tracks such as ‘Good Times’ with Young Thug, I can see myself liking it more and more the closer we get to summer and further away from the gloomy clouds of exam season. But it’s the overall feel of the album that lets me down. The previously unreleased tracks; ‘Obvs; ‘SeeSaw’; ‘Stranger in the Room’; and ‘The Rest is Noise’ really lets this album down. What we thought was going to be progressive electronic music has actually turned out to be ‘safe raving’, trying too hard to be edgy and simple relatable music that David Cameron could be comfortable talking about in order to relate to a ‘target youth audience’.

My main qualms can be summarised through the analysis of ‘The Rest is Noise’. A track that is so poser, it should have its own thread on The Basement dressed in Supreme clothing debating whether Odd Future is really finished with. The track starts off with a generic London accent, to then be abruptly interrupted by the beats of the track. This London accent trend repeats itself in the album, even appearing in likable tracks such as ‘Girl’. What is the meant to contribute for the song? “Oh London’s edgy isn’t it? Oh I guess I really can relate to this since I am a Jamie xx fan”. No, you can’t! The simplicity of electric vibes reflected in this track transcends to most of the album, making it one that can be marketed for next year’s headline slot as Radio 1’s big weekend. If this was what Jamie was planning on doing with the album, then I can’t fault him. However, previous tracks released before the records launch led us to believe otherwise.

It’s hard to be objective when the build-up for this album has been so strong since the drop of ‘Far Nearer’ back in 2011. But the reality of the situation is this; if you are a Jamie xx fan, then you will struggle to appreciate the record as a whole; however if you are new to the scene then you are in the best position to make your minds up. There will be no stars for this review, nor really an objective rating of any kind. I do not think that would do the review any justice. C’mon Jamie, you have so much more to give than this. I hope you build on this for the sake of your future tracks.

Rating: Had so much potential, however remaining disappointed. Still better than revising analytic philosophy on your birthday! You can of course listen to this track via Itunes, Amazon or stream it on Spotify. Would be very interesting to hear what you think!

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