Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Artist of the Day: James Blake

In the wake of Overgrown's limited preview, and in the shadow of its release, what's a man to do but tap his fingers on a keyboard in part anticipation and part frustration? It would be a stretch to ignore the flaws in his successful debut -the clunky, autotune awkwardness and overblown repetition- yet inexcusable to pass its successes. Never before had an artist surfed along the wake of the emerging dubstep wave to bring it crashing into the mainstream; his own, hyper-intimate approach was just a bonus.

With Overgrown, James Blake keeps on surfing long enough to flatten out the kinks. The preview hinted at much smoother and more harmonious tracks further spliced with the hip-hop and RnB vibes he glanced at in his debut. "Take a Fall For Me," featuring rapper RZA, takes this to a new level, and pleasingly James shuns the verse/chorus structure of rapper collabs in favour of a kind of synthed out matrimony. It's a new direction for James, and god damn is it working for him. That vinyl won't arrive soon enough...

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