Music Review//The xx - Coexist

When The xx released their first album in 2009 many a music fans pulse quickened as they took in the music but will this be the case for their follow up, Coexist? Seba Rashii Culture investigates...

Music Review// The xx - Coexist 

When we found ourselves standing behind Jamie xx  just before his set at Liverpool's Sound City festival in 2011 we weren't surprised. They say that genius is internal and the externally unassuming xx-er is most definitely a modern musical mind to watch. So it is that we come to 2012's Coexist, on which the subtlety of the music is the stand out point. 

Opener Angels floats into view on a light bass drum and keys atmosphere and when the vocals come in it's prosaic atmosphere is preserved elegantly. Admitted it seems a little thin at first but by the time Chained opens it's an upping of the energy levels a few notches by force of the two vocalists combined powers but still the instrumental subtlety remains and in the right mood this could be an excellent listen.

Throughout the album it's a similar story and it's easy for the entire thing to slip by unnoticed into the sound steam of your listening environment. There's little in the way of big beats or choruses that pounce on your nerves like some audio ninja from the ether but that isn't really the point of an album by The xx is it? It's an experience that grows over many listens, one that appreciates in value perhaps. 

Coexist is an album that in many lives with it's title well. You cold surmise that with dance orientated music it's the environment and mental state that make the music and that is the case here. Rather than booming from your speakers with the intent to blast all else aside this is music that can easily mingle with the scenery and works it's way into your mind with subtlety rather than with a sledgehammer. 

Perhaps the highlights of the album are Fiction, with it's chill out keys bringing a welcome kick to the record three tracks in. Missing also impresses with it's mournful synth  and soul inflected vocals that almost bring to mind a night on the town when home is not a welcoming place. There is an appealing tone of sadness to Unfold as well beginning a quiet spiral towards the albums ultimate conclusion. 

Coexist may not be an immediate like, it's far too subtle for that, but there's definitely much to love about this second album from the band.

Reviewed by Sebastian Gahan. 

Popular Posts