The xx Coexist
  • FRIDAY, OCTOBER 05, 2012

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Coexist was first shared with a single fan about a week before its 9/11 release. From there, it was streamed and tracked, in order to create a majestic visualization that demonstrated the fast-spreading virus the album infected upon the internet. (No computers were harmed in the process - well, not that I know of, anyway.)

Once again, Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim drift into our ears with their soft, velvety voices. The lyrics, if you listen beyond the lullaby voices, revolve around the complicated affairs of love. The first two songs on the album, by themselves, tell what seems like it could be a complete tale. The opening track, "Angels," speaks of love and being ready to take on the world with a chosen loved one. Apparently, if someone believed Croft, "They would be/As in love with you as I am". The winds suddenly shift in "Chained," though, as the lyrics tell the questioning inner-conflict of "Did I hold you too tight?/Did I not let enough light in?"

While the album overall is soft and enjoyable, the songs seem to blend together at times. The harmonies may be a leading factor, though, as they are pretty relaxing. Sometimes, it's easy to forget your place when listening. Nevertheless, a pleasant surprise does come about around a minute into "Swept Away." The sudden electronica beats allow the song to be uplifted and transformed into an almost-danceable track. Also, it seems like a great foundation for a remix -- I'd expect those to pop up very soon.

Coexist quite clearly resembles The xx's debut album -- they have only changed in the slightest. Which we say mostly positively. It's true that getting a whole new album of the same, quiet, hushed xx brilliance is at times tiring and been-there-done-that. But when only one band -- The xx -- is able to produce this sound, we should feel thankful that they're in no hurry to jump ship. And when you do notice those minute variations, elation is difficult to withhold because right before your eyes, you can see one of this generation's great bands evolving.

Check out this video of 'Angels,' which the band were inspired to film whilst in Tokyo:


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