james blake

I’m SO hooked on this new album. It’s the self-titled debut from UK electronica singer/songwriter/spell-weaver James Blake. “Chill” and “smooth” work as surface descriptors but they don’t begin to touch the soulfulness and raw emotion these songs lay on your ears.

Sometimes when I listen to Haydn symphonies or Schubert songs I find myself appreciating their musicality as much as their employment of the ‘negative’ spaces  – those non-painted (or carved) areas of visual art works like, say, canvases (or sculptures). It’s the same in Blake’s work, with the quiet manipulation of those non-music spaces defining the contours of each song in colorful relief.

Delicate, spare, vulnerable and wholly exquisite.

I’ve just added another favorite to my short list of top recordings from 2011. There will be few other artists this year who capture my imagination the way James Blake does.


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