The xx – Coexist
The xx’s debut album was a thrilling affair: dark, playful and sparse. Since we last heard from them, they’ve shed a member and, it would seem, some of their sense of adventure. It’s apparent from the opening track and schmaltzy lead single Angels that Coexist is a more sombre, earnest affair; it’s mostly languid, without any of the dancefloor fodder that made the first such a joy.
Even so: the beats and melodies are still, for the most part, neat and enjoyable, but they’re often let down by the lazy, sixth form poetry that sits atop them (“When I look into your eyes / I see no surprise,” from the potentially excellent Sunset is about par for the course). It’s hard to recall much of the tidal wave of praise for the first record being directed towards the wordplay: with its elevation to centre stage, we’re left with a record that impresses in spurts, but which ultimately frustrates.
Judge for yourself and stream the album here.