The Last Drop

Reviews and Clues on Music That Matters (to me)

New Issue: James Blake


James Blake, James BlakeOh, to be young again! Well, at least barely legal. And overflowing with talent. A rare combination these days. Unless you count whatever Justin Bieber has as “talent” (a shag haircut does not a career make). A serious contention of buzz and general hoopla has been surrounding this guy and to date ,it has been deserved. Doe-eyed youthful intensity matched with meticulous dubstep craftsmenship. Some tracks more housy, some more controlled/downtempo. The full length debut sticks closer to to the downtempo/crooner side of things. And continues to succeed. Coming off the success of a cover, Mr. Blake asserts his independent voice early and often. “Wilhem Scream” can easily bear the burden of a follow up hit with a convincing hook and that all too endearing crooner style. However, I think his best work shows itself when he spends more time on the production – chopping up sound and flexing the malleability of his voice. “Give Me My Month”, “Why Don’t You Call Me” and “I Mind” delight in the simplicity of driving minimalism and pitch modulation. These elements seem much more interesting than the other works that focus on layering. Sure, the layers are all beautiful (he IS a crooner at heart really…), but in the same way Burial found depth in shape shifting ’90s R&B, so too does Mr. Blake strike sonic pay dirt with compressing and expanding his own voice. It is a path that has been travelled before, but when done well, still relates a stunning effect. The greatest detractor to this album is that it’s not fully an album. 11 songs in under 40 minutes is getting dangerously close to Danger Mouse territory – sometimes too quick to fully set in. The ideas aren’t all fully expressed. Methinks this may be a calculated move – the better to tour/experiment/build upon for the future. And I look forward to seeing if my guess is correct. For now, I will (happily) let these fragments ruminate.

Written by TopDrop

February 27th, 2011 at 10:36 pm

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2 Responses to 'New Issue: James Blake'

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  1. I was very pleased to search out this net-site.I wished to thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I positively enjoying every little bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you weblog post.

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    13 Mar 11 at 7:05 pm

  2. Liked the blog, I;’m a fan of dubstep. I run my own dubstep distribution blog. s1

    Bruce Casassa

    23 Apr 11 at 12:36 pm

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