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xx (Digipack)

Released on 17 August 2009

Artist: The xx

5.0 out of 5 (19 customer reviews) | Write a review

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Also available used from £6.99

Results 1-5 of 17

Sold by: AllYourMusic | visit our store

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AllYourMusic

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basecom

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Results 1-5 of 17

  1. Intro
  2. VCR
  3. Crystalised
  4. Islands
  5. Heart Skipped A Beat
  6. Fantasy
  7. Shelter
  8. Basic Space
  9. Infinity
  10. Night Time
  11. Stars

customer Reviews

 Average rating (19 reviews)

 More than the sum of their parts

| | See all Yak317's reviews (24)

Top 100 Music Reviewer

One thing's for sure; it's hard to warm to them immediately.
The sulky-teenager personas, the particularly uncharismatic, unmemorable singles (in terms of Chart potential), and the almost lack lustre stage presence during their live performances might suggest that they're one of those bands that you really have to work at liking. I bought this album with, I confess, limited expectations. I'm pleased to say that I was utterly wrong. They had me hypnotised from the very first track. Intro would be my track of choice if I had to pick one song that sums up the album; it's short and sweet but quintessential XX material and a great indication of what's to come.

The whole feel of the band is minimalist and stripped back. A constant air of brooding comes from the heavy bass synth background, punctuated with sparse guitar riffs, repetitive keyboard and a sharp drum-machine rhythm section.

On paper it could have been put together in someone's basement, low production value, few instruments, nothing more than three or four layers at most. And yet someone it sounds like much more than the sum of its parts. What should make it awful actually becomes it's greatest attraction. The resulting sound is close, almost intimate, as though the band is actually in your bedroom giving you a private concert.

My absolutely favourite part is the singing. Usually boy-girl vocal parings just jar with each others, but here Croft's voice is gorgeous, sultry and subtle and works well with her male counterpart. Like the backing, the vocals are subdued, and very really rise above a sullen, angst-ridden murmur; perfect for songs about love, loss and being young.

So no, songs like these aren't going to shake stadiums full of screaming fans, but then again I don't think they're meant to. Unlike so many albums which use big statement tracks to keep a album from losing momentum, XX is more like a constant ebb and flow of noise, with very little to interrupt it. I literally can't stop listening to this album; it's addictive, bad for your health and should come with a warning label. 5/5

 Britain HAS Got Talent!

| | See all Ashkam's reviews (11)

The previous review has got it spot on: this is absolutely 'stunning minimalist trip-hop-pop'! Last year I was transfixed by Burial's 'Untrue' and had that set to repeat on my iPod for months on end. Since owning 'XX' I have clocked up dozens of plays in just a couple of days. The album does carry a similar haunting ambience as Burial's amazing second album (by the way, they attended the same London school as Burial, Hot Chip and Four Tet) but it is a lot more than just 'minimalist' .

The female and male vocals gel together in a way which really shouldn't work on such a record. I can't think of any modern groups with such an arrangement. The best way to describe the female vocalist style is something between Bjork, Portishead's Beth Gibbons and Zero 7's Sia Furler with a soulful R&Bish force. Stand out tracks for me are 'VCR', 'Basic Space' and former iTunes single of the week, 'Crystalised'. Having said that, the whole album plays like a film score and, played as a whole, it creates one continual soundtrack to my daily commute. I really would be surprised and disappointed if 'XX' is overlooked for nomination for next years Mercury Music prize. These young guys deserve HUGE recognition.

What is golden about this album is that the group did not feel the need to throw in a couple of tracks to change the peaceful mood or to 'mix it up'. Critics will argue that this makes the record boring and monotonous but I think that it is key to its triumph. This record is a truly refreshing change to the indie chart topping malarkey which is going on at the moment!

If you are into 90s Trip Hop groups such as Massive Attack, Portishead or Sneaker Pimps, you'll love The XX . If you are after something chilled, slow and different 'XX' is for you too.

More importantly, if you wish to support genuine young British talent, you should buy this amazing effort. It's incredible that these guys are all still only 20 years old and hopefully have a lot more to offer.

 Lost for words....

| | See all mightyhunter's reviews (2)

My first play of this album was on my regular morning drive to work. It left me speechless, I had to play 'Intro' 5 times... to believe what I was hearing, I had goose pimples. It reminded me of Joy Division (I think), but agree it has a 'Lullaby' feel to it too. Half an hour later I'm still in shock, this is the best music I've heard in a long time......

 A gamble that pays off - again and again!

| | See all tankmonk's reviews (16)

Listened to the track Crystalised a few times and really liked it. Thought I would go on a gamble and buy the album - I was not disappointed. The first track - Intro - is a really cool instrumental and got me hooked from the start. It's a beautiful album & very chilled. A little similar to snow patrol (only in the way it's a guy and girl singing) but way cooler. Never really heard of them before, but will be following closely.
One of the few albums I can listen to over and over again. Love it!

 Brilliant

| | See all numbernuts's reviews (2)

I too happened across these guys by chance. Great album. Looking forward to seeing them live. Distinctive 80's esque style. Go buy it!

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