Saturday, January 16, 2010

Albums Of The Year 2009 - No. 3!

The xx

Beautiful, haunting, solemn, possibly the most romantic record of the last decade... Yep. All superlatives, all cliches, and all accurate. I'd never heard of this lot before New Music God Huw Stephens started championing them on the radio, and I was immediately hooked.

Calling them lo-fi is selling them short, as the craft in the songwriting is immense, but there's no denying their sounds defines the phrase 'stripped down'. Barely using more than a plucky guitar, bass, occasional drums and call-and-response male/female vocals, the music they create tends to float around your senses until it truly becomes something tangible to your mind-brain.

Even more incredible, for what I truly believe is an out-and-out romantic record, it never becomes hackneyed. In fact, at times The xx seem unsure whether love is a good or bad thing. At moments, this album will make you think love is the greatest thing in the world, at others it'll make you wonder why people bother with it. Yet it's never saccharine or cynical. It's just totally, brutally honest. And that's why it's the best debut in years.


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