Line Out Music & the City at Night

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Get Intimate and Tender with James Blake

Posted by on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 11:58 AM

(Neptune) James Blake's new album, Overgrown, moves further away from his earlier, more overtly beat-oriented output, instead emphasizing his burnished, soulful vocals—think somewhere between the late folk-blues troubadour Karen Dalton and Antony Hegarty—and elegantly contoured torch-songcraft. Blake values intimacy and tenderness above all in his compositions, casting his gently vibrato'd croons into low-lit tableaux of consoling introversion, although "Retrograde" and "Voyeur" deviate from the prevalent warm-milk sound. Fans will call it "simmering" and "mature"; haters will deem it "soporific" and "stodgy" (even RZA's guest rap on "Take a Fall for Me" lacks spice). Much livelier is the oft-morphing, bass-laden music of New York producer FaltyDL (aka Drew Lustman). He brings cracking, limber rhythmic convolutions and glimmering melodiousness to UK garage, which has earned him a Ninja Tune contract and slots on high-profile bills like this one. Get there early. See also My Philosophy.

 

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