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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is different!
Well I'm 51 and still appreciate all genres of modern music, and I really like this album. I first saw and heard The XX on 'Later with Jools Holland' and their atmospheric music just leapt out of the TV at me. Next day, after checking out more of their tracks on You Tube I bought the album. I really like this music for its innovative and fresh feel. Yes okay it's simple...
Published on 30 Nov. 2009 by I'mdowntheshed!

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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Chill out music done on guitars??? Not as good as it sounds!
I thought variety was supposed to be the spice of life? Not to this London lot. I bought this album after hearing their chilled out dark, indie-pop on some late night TV show and thought I had seen the future of guitar music.
On buying the album I was a little disappointed to find the album to be very one-dimensional. 'Intro' and 'VCR' start things well but as song...
Published on 29 April 2010 by theone&only


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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is different!, 30 Nov. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: xx (Digipack) (Audio CD)
Well I'm 51 and still appreciate all genres of modern music, and I really like this album. I first saw and heard The XX on 'Later with Jools Holland' and their atmospheric music just leapt out of the TV at me. Next day, after checking out more of their tracks on You Tube I bought the album. I really like this music for its innovative and fresh feel. Yes okay it's simple and laid back (brilliant music to relax by), but it's a completely new and different sound, and that's the genius of it. I hope their recent tour supporting Florence and The Machine gives them the extra exposure they richly deserve.
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121 of 151 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seriously Good, 28 Aug. 2009
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: xx (Digipack) (Audio CD)
Scatty and Gritz (the cubs) brought this one home
from school and have been playing nothing else over
the past week. They've dumped their hoodies (it was
red bandanas before that!) and reverted to basic black.
They also seem to be reading Schopenhauer again
- their Mother's influence not mine I hasten to add.
I seem to have found something to like in this music too.

The xx are a somewhat po-faced but very talented
little combo from South London. This debut collection
of 11 compositions is relentlessly and uncompromisingly
single-minded in its sustained intensity.
It's hard to imagine them sitting around together
drinking cider and watching Father Ted re-runs.
This is much more Jacques Brel and absinthe territory !

Seriousness becomes them.

The combined vocal contributions of Ms Croft and
Mr Sim create a charmingly laconic ambience.
There is a total absence of frenzy. In fact nothing
much happens throughout in the nicest possible way.

'Infinity' is a splendid composition. The closest
thing to a climax in the entire project.
The spirit of Hank Marvin might well be smiling in the wings.

'Night Time' is a marvelously morose little ditty
and for my money its starkly economical, pared-down,
minimalism is the album's gloomy highlight.

Jamie Smith's beats and Baria Qureshi's well-judged
keyboard interventions are entirely complementary to
the centrally positioned Croft/Sim double-act.

Concluding track 'Stars' made me remember acutely
what it was like to be young and intense and delirious
with dark and serious dreams.

Recommended.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Total Immersion from the word go., 12 Aug. 2010
By 
Janie Reader (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: xx (Digipack) (Audio CD)
Now this is a rare gem. As opposed to alot of the mainstream generic sound we listen to; which even though I do love and appreciate. It does get a little lifeless and just plain bland. This is so refreshing as it requires you to engage with it just like you would with a good book or film. The bold elusivness of the case alone just encourages you to interprete it as you will. Every song sounds individual and flowed like individual stories to me. The album was sort of like a journey that you embark on. Sort of shaped to your narrative. Its powerful and atmospheric. Like "Fantasy" in particular is just deep, dark and foreboding. Ultimatley I just feel the album is an intense emotionally charged ride but at the same time equally; you can just kick back to it and relax. I would recommended it to anyone who is looking for a unique experience.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Chill out music done on guitars??? Not as good as it sounds!, 29 April 2010
By 
theone&only (Nottingham, Notts United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: xx (Digipack) (Audio CD)
I thought variety was supposed to be the spice of life? Not to this London lot. I bought this album after hearing their chilled out dark, indie-pop on some late night TV show and thought I had seen the future of guitar music.
On buying the album I was a little disappointed to find the album to be very one-dimensional. 'Intro' and 'VCR' start things well but as song after song, sung in the same dull monotone, continue things begin to blur into one. By the time we get to single 'Basic Space' I was feeling suicidal to be honest! There are some good points - the beats are sublime and well produced as are the exquisite basslines.

I have listened to this record maybe 15 times now and am still as bored. Once you get past the NME hype you realise that this is just yet more dark, dreary, guitar ploddery posing itself as intelligent mood music. Listen and see what I mean - every song is at the same slow tempo pretty much, both singers ranges seem to encompass about 4 notes and the songwriting skills need plenty more development. Here's hoping they find it because the dynamic of the band is there. More variety next time please !!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fragile and melancholic!, 23 Aug. 2012
This review is from: XX (Audio CD)
The first time I listened to the XX in 2009 when they were hyped by every music magazine or indie radio station as the new sensation they simply let me cold. I listened their debut album only once and I didn't get any interesting line or melody out of it. Only washed out pop songs without any climax.

I re-listened them accidentally one year later and only then they reached my heart. They really did! Maybe it's more subtle music but actually this made me fall for them. In particular the duo vocals was something new to me and so fragile and melancholic in every single song. The melodies went into my memory only after several listenings but lasted until now! I had a pre-listen to their new album Coexist which gave me the same impression like their debut album at the beginning. I was bored by no climax. Maybe the XX takes time to stay in your mind, but if so, it is etched on your memory!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather Dull, 19 April 2012
This review is from: XX (Audio CD)
Positive reviews suggested this was something worth listening to, but for me, the album gets very repetitive when listening to it all the way through. Would probably sound fine on your ipod shuffle but a lack of variety makes this album very dull, while the vocals are incredibly dull and the lyrics rather uninspirational. Musically, it doesn't go anywhere either.

The sparsity of the sound attempts to create an atmospheric sound but there's nothing atmospheric to it at all. While many bands do this and pull it off spectacularly (The National, Unforgettable Fire era U2, Murmur era REM and Radiohead), you feel as if The XX are falling well short of that haunting qualities of their peers.

Not at all haunting, just extremely dull.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kind of like a pared down Lamb?, 3 Dec. 2009
This review is from: xx (Digipack) (Audio CD)
I've been listening to this album since Rob da Bank kept banging on about how good they were. They're definitely one of the more alluring sounds I've heard in 2009 - kind of like a stripped back Lamb with a bit of Hot Chip in there, maybe a smidge of Bat for Lashes too? All quite minimal, breathless, lingering - its low-fi, shoe-gaze music, appropriate for sultry late night liaisons.
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29 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Headphone Candy, 3 Sept. 2009
By 
AK-87 (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: xx (Digipack) (Audio CD)
This album is perfect commuter escapism. There are only about one or two albums a year which I can just listen to over and over again and this is my 2009 record. This is just one of those albums which just sounds better through headphones on the move. I wouldn't go as far as saying that this album can be grouped in the chill out genre but it is fantastically peaceful.

This time last year I was addicted to Burial's 'Untrue' and I can honestly say that if you enjoyed that record for its ability to make you lose yourself in its minimal and haunting sound, you'll love 'xx'. Interestingly, this young group met at the same London school which was attended by Hot Chip, Four Tet and Burial himself. The female and male vocalist harmonise and complement each other superbly on every track but, for me, stand outs are 'VCR', 'Basic Space' and the recent iTunes single of the week, 'Crystalised'. The smooth female vocals make me imagine a beautiful love child of Bjork and Zero 7's Sia Furler (you can decide whether you think that is a good combination or not!)The bassist creates a ghostly but melodic rhythm which features throughout which reminds me of Massive Attack's 'Danny The Dog'. What really impresses me is the way the group have maintained a constant and original sound without feeling the need to throw in a few tracks to change the mood. Some may dismiss this album as monotonous but the whole thing works for them and it flows as if it could be a film score much like Burial's 'Untrue'.

If you are looking for a refreshing change to the chart topping indie groups and wish to support genuine young British talent you should BUY this album. You will not be disappointed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice change from the ordinary, 5 April 2013
By 
W. Boon (Dublin) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: XX (Audio CD)
I first heard about XX from an magazine article. This - their first album - is received lots and lots of hype. I'm always suspicious of this but decided to give it a listen. I can honestly say it's great. I now hear the title instrumental track all over the place - in ads and on TV programs. My only complaint with this is the track(7-8 I think) that, near the end, raises the volume of my speakers to unnecessarily loud level. This is bad. Their second album is very much like this so if you want more of the same you could buy that too. Although, it's still not as good as this one.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sense of space - a new sensation, 22 Jun. 2011
This review is from: XX (Audio CD)
It's refreshing to find a record like xx in 2009, in an era of popular music that seeks to overwhelm the listener with massive effects and crushing walls of sound - where the focus of the artist is to add as much as possible, covering up for inadequacies of music and lyrics.

The xx do things differently: a four-piece at the time of recording (keyboardist Baria Qureshi has since left), the xx prize a sense of space in their songs. There are moments of silence in the middle of a song, while the heaviest the album gets is with a combination of throbbing bass, quietly interweaving guitars, gently pulsing syncopated beats and breathy vocals (as on 'Intro' - recently ubiquitous as a TV sports event theme - and the fantastic 'Islands'). This sparseness works brilliantly - xx is great for a relaxed listen or as furniture music, but turn up the volume on decent headphones and the subtle touches come out of the woodwork.

Despite their youth, the xx are a perfectly attuned band - they work together with their talents that fit together perfectly. Oliver Sim's bass never dominates, but finds moments to be funky and moments to back off, moments to be in sync with the guitar and moments to syncopate. His vocals aren't strong in the traditional sense, but fit the lyrical atmosphere (primarily the uncertainties of young love) perfectly when paired with those of Romy Madley-Croft, whose light guitar work is excellent ('Night time'). The musical atmosphere and beats are largely the work of young production wunderkind Jamie xx - always supporting and occasionally driving the songs, but never dominating them.

In short, xx is a refreshing listen, and a compelling one too.
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