(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Xx (2009), 6.5/10
Coexist (2012), 4/10
Jamie Xx: In Colour (2015), 6/10
I See You (2017), 4.5/10

England's Xx, consisting of vocalist and guitarist Roomy Madley Croft, vocalist and bassist Oliver Sim, keyboardist Baria Qureshi and beatmaker Jamie Smith, penned the introspective and confessional folk-soul ballads of Xx (Young Turks, 2009). The lazy and limping single Basic Space barely scratches the surface. Their specialty, the naive whispered male-female duets epitomized by Islands, is best implemented in the intimate and colloquial Heart Skipped A Beat, in the ghostly invocation of Fantasy, in the dark blues-jazzy Shelter, and in the dreamy Stars. The most evocative song, Infinity, sounds like a dub version of an Ennio Morricone soundtrack featuring Chris Isaak dueting with a little girl. A more straightforward style surfaces in the atmospheric synth-pop of VCR, in the lively Night Time, and especially in the catchy singalong for sensual vocal harmonies and swampy polyrhythm Crystalised. Xx's subdued sound was the equivalent of trip-hop with dubstep rhythms or other fashionable styles replacing hip-hop rhythms.

Coexist (2012) is a collection of bland, lifeless, whispered dance-pop tunes. Tides is perhaps the least tedious.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Giulio Bassanello)

Gli xx, gruppo inglese formato dalla cantante e chitarrista RoomyMadley Croft, dal cantante e bassista Oliver Sim, dalla tastierista Baria Qureshi e dal beatmaker Jamie Smith, hanno registrato le ballate folk-soul introspettive e intimiste di xx (Young Turks, 2009). Basic Space, singolo pigro e lento, non rappresenta l’essenza dell’album. La loro specialità - genuini e sussurrati duetti maschio-femmina esemplificati ottimamente da Islands - è messa in pratica al meglio in HeartSkipped A Beat, intima e colloquiale, nell’invocazione spettrale di Fantasy, nel blues dark jazzato di Shelter e nella sognante Stars. La canzone più evocativa, Infinity, sembra la versione dub di una composizione di Ennio Morricone interpretata da Chris Isaak insieme a una bambina. Uno stile più semplice e chiaro emerge nel synth-pop d’atmosfera di VCR, nella vivace Night Time, e specialmente nell’orecchiabile Crystalised, un sing-along di cui vanno rimarcate le sensuali armonie vocali e la poliritmia “paludosa”. Il sound soffuso degli xx è l’equivalente del trip-hop con ritmichedubsteb o altri stili alla moda che rimpiazzino le ritmiche hip-hop.

Meanwhile, English dj James Smith, aka Jamie Xx, remixed Gil-Scott Heron's album I'm New Here (2010) as We're New Here (2011) and then, after the single All Under One Roof Raving (2014), debuted solo with In Colour (2015), a collection of catchy, fashionable, downtempo dance songs such as Loud Places and Gosh.

The band returned with I See You (2017), which contains bland pop duets over a simple electronic dance beat like I Dare You that occasionally sound like a damaged version of Eurythmics (Dangerous) or attempt more sophisticated melodrama (A Violent Noise). On Hold incorporates a bit of rapping and a more intricate beat.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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