Sound — 9
The XX is a band consisting of Oliver, Romy, Jamie and former guitarist Baria all from South West London, UK. The XX debut album resonates a dream like sound that is carried with echo filled riffs and stiff bass lines. Their influences include pop sensations like Aaliyah and Rihanna and fellow UK rockers like The Kills and The Cure. The fact that The XX's album was recorded at night contributes to their soft sound. It was a breathe of fresh air hearing a different take on pop music.
Lyrics — 8
01. Intro: the song sounds exactly like what it's named. This intro provides a foundation of their overall sound. An apparent drum beat, an echo'd guitar, thick bass lines, fantasy synth and coherent vocals. 7. 02. VCR: the XX pop influences are prevailant in this song. It carries a cheery mood. Romy (lead guitar and vocals) sings in a pleasing whisper fashion. Oliver (bass and vocals) balances the song with his harmonizing deep voice. 7. 03. Crystalised: very intriguing in the style of the harmonizing guitars throughout the song. The lyrics in this song show an intimate theme. 9. 04. Islands: this song is a good example of having a band without an actual drummer. It shows emotion but with stagnant and still vocals. 5. Heart Skipped a Beat- I like the variations of riffs with the guitar. I like the use of their dream like sound. Although most of the variation is provided by Romy. 6. 06. Fantasy: another song that sounds exactly like what it is. The whispery sound makes me want to fall asleep. It provides a good background for R.E.M. though. 5. 07. Shelter: this song features Romy singing behind bass riffs and backing guitar. The lyrics are a kind of dark nostalgia. It makes me sad really. 8. 08. Basic Space: I like the drum effect with this song. The emptyness of the song is pleasing to hear. It's a dead pop that easy to listen to. 9. 09. Infinity: this intro to this song is like the male verson of Shelter, the song previously sung by Romy. This adds to the dream sound of The XX. Their echo and dream theme hasn't not gone off track. 8. 10. Night Time: the sort of minimalist style of the guitar. I like the idle variation of soft sound. I don't think any other style would suit the theme of this album. 8. 11. Stars: I like the piano incorporated into this song. The instruments in this song work well together to create the ideal melancholic sound. 8. 12. Hot Like Fire: this song is a cover song by Aaliyah. I like how it sounds so different than the original. This vision is completely different but The XX makes it their own song. 9.
Overall Impression — 9
I like the point of view of The XX towards pop. Ultimately, this album is great to listen to while relaxing or if you're trying to find some peace and quiet. So far the most catchy song in this album has to be Crystalised. It's their anthem for the whole album. I don't like, however, how their vocals remain the same style, it doesn't feel as if the passion could contribute to any other sound. Overall, I like the relaxed feel of this album and it stands out due to it's minimalistic nature.