James Blake: The Colour in Anything

4 Jun

james blake

While it benefits from a more expansive sound, James Blake’s third album is cut from the same cloth as its predecessors.

From the opening wail of ‘Radio Silence’, Blake is on familiar territory, both sonically and thematically. It’s by no means bad. Blake is a talent musician and is in great voice throughout.

‘I Hope My Life’ sounds like anti-dance music, building on a sinister groove while Blake ominously repeats ‘I hope I’m right’.

Majestic and otherworldly, ‘Waves Know Shores’ backs Blake’s mournful vocal with a horn section — it’s truly terrific.

‘Love Me In Whatever Way’ features some great piano and, in an inspired choice, features sounds of traffic on a rain-drenched road. It’s in moments like this that Blake really shines.

While it is all well-produced, it just feels like he’s stuck in the same melancholic furrow. And at 17 tracks, it just feels bloated and repetitive.

It’s a good record for fans, but don’t be surprised if Album No. 4 turns out to be a change in direction, because on this evidence Blake needs to freshen things up a bit.

 

By Tim George

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