The xx – I See You
By Bobby Beebe
The xx performed on Saturday Night Live earlier this year, it was awkward to say the least. That is not to say that the music wasn’t good, it sounded great. However, the members of the band danced awkwardly, planted to their spaces on the page.
This sort of rusty awkwardness might be expected from a band performing new music together live for the first time in five years. Now, just a few months after performing the new songs live, The xx is back with their third album, I See You.
Aside from some redeeming performances from singer Romy Croft, the album plays out much like the SNL performance did, stiff and uncomfortable. Moments when Romy and, male vocalist, Oliver Sim share vocals highlight the awkwardness, as their voices seem to clash, battling to find a space where they fit together. The production from Jamie Smith (Jamie XX) is lackluster and predictable.
This is especially disappointing given the freshness of his 2015 solo effort, In Colour. It is the moments when Smith’s minimalism and Croft’s soft vocals meet where the album finds its footing. Songs like “Performance” and “Brave for You” serve as striking ballads that have the ability to send shivers down a spine. Overall this album is underwhelming, but the stand out tracks really do stand out.