The XX – Coexist

As soon as I heard ‘Angels’ open the second album by The XX I was in love, by the time the record had come to a close with ‘Our Song’ I was head over heels and instantly played it again. At the stage I’m at now I’m in danger of over playing it, the reason being that it is quite simply beautiful. Taking the template of their debut and refining it is key here and it is as much an album of space as it is sound. Lyrically it’s the scribbling’s from the pages of a broken hearted teenage diary written by a philosopher and musically it can only be described as hauntingly minimal. Soft beats and even softer keys are barely present among the breathed vocals, this is trip hop turned down to one and makes Massive Attack sound positively fast. Unfortunately if you didn’t like their debut chances are you won’t find anything here that will change your mind, apart from the experimenting like steel drums on ‘Reunion’ it is pretty much the same thing. That said it is better and more mature like they have grown into their own sound and claimed it with confidence. My only real gripe with the record is the length, it is very short, but that said with the standard of what’s on offer here it is not really a big issue and to quote the title of David Eggers book this is still ‘A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius’.

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