James Blake: James Blake

Drawing on influences from dubstep, electronic, dance and indie, James Blake’s self-titled debut album is a curious and fascinating beast with a wholly original sound.  
Each song feels like a carefully composed labour of love that all help contribute to the completed whole. 
When it works, as with breakthrough single Limit to Your Love, it burrows into your subconscious to take up residence like a squatter refusing to leave. 
When it doesn’t however, as with the experimental Lindesfarne I & II, it sounds like somebody trying to play music in the bathtub.   This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; and what’s refreshing here, is listening to an artist who is prepared to go that little bit further to create an original record. 
Set to polarise opinion, chances are you’ll either go with Blake’s sidesteps between the genres or get annoyed with him pretty quickly.  Certainly an artist to keep an eye on, it will be interesting to see how his sound develops as he inevitably progresses up the rungs of the musical industry ladder. 
James Blake’s album is far from perfect, but you’re unlikely to hear too much like it this year.  And with an industry still saturated by manufactured pop and generic dance floor clones… that can only be a good thing.
Phill James

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