ar·cane (är-kān') adj. requiring secret or mysterious knowledge;

The xx – xx

Posted in Uncategorized by arcanedufresne on November 2, 2009
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The xx have perfected a stripped down approach in which the guy/girl tandem vocals (provided almost effortlessly by Romy Madley Croft and bassist Oliver Sim) become a lackadaisical love affair that draws you further into its simple complications with each track. Bass lines and drum machine beats create a steady groove that your vital signs manage to fall in tune with as the album progresses. Reverb-laiden guitaring filters in and out, perfectly filling the epic spaces created by the rest of the instrumentation. The album was self-produced by this band of 20 year-olds and the minimalism shines through while they also draw subtly on soft R&B and even hip-hop as one of the standout tracks, Basic Space, sounds as if it were produced by Timbaland in his off time from making bangers.

Listen to Basic Space.

xx provides so many gems for the immersed listener and this album could potentially be even more delightful when pumped through headphones. There is so much hidden in the negative space of the album, from the lingering warble of bass notes to the minute decay of drum machine beats and the staccatoed, echoing guitar lines. The band manages to infuse enough change from track to track when they switch from a more “pop” song like VCR to the bass driven Islands to the meandering Crystalised. The xx sneak up on you and get under your skin and once you give it a listen, you will have it repeating for weeks.

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