Friday, December 10, 2010


Young Turks

All I knew going in was The xx beat Biffy Clyro, winning the 2010 Barclay Mercury Prize. Their album's in the 'Best of 2010' rack at HMV. And oh yeah, there's massive posters of them all over town, calling xx the 'Album of 2010.' So why not? CDs are dirt cheap here.

Seeing as how it was released in late 2009 and has already been heralded as one of the albums of the decade (the British media love themselves some hype), it doesn't make sense to get too in-depth. But for an album generating so much hype and attention, by an electronic, indie-rock band formed in 2005, xx is disarmingly subtle and understated.

I was expecting flash and a magnum-sized dose of sideways-parted pretentiousness, but the musical landscapes surveyed are refreshingly uncluttered and innocent. There's a delicacy to the songs and beats that ends with them stuck in your head like a good dream.

The call-and-answer vocals of guitarist Romy Madley Croft and bassist Oliver Sim gives the album a very personal, honest touch, without ever crossing over into photo-album, Facebook-status-relationship territory. It's moody, electronic-backed indie-rock with a great sense of rhythm and atmosphere.

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