Listening to their new album Coexist is undoubtedly a nice way to spend 40 minutes, but it’s hard to analyse the music or take much away from it other than the obvious quality.
Stylistically similar to their debut, there’s little evolution here. The whirlwind success of their self-titled debut meant that a follow-up was a long-time coming, so some may criticise the lack of change over those years but for the band it shows a comfort in their sound.
Comfort being the optimum word for Coexist. Soothing dub beats echo as the velvety vocals of Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim carry you through an album short on bravado, even compared to their previous album, but swimming in soul.
First single Angels is a clear highlight and a strong candidate for their best song to date. It’s a beauty of a track, dripping with emotion. Fiction and Sunset stand out but for the most part the songs that follow melt into one another, which to some may be a negative.
Coexist doesn’t strive to capture your full attention like so many of the albums that will surround it in the charts. It’s much closer to a film soundtrack in that regard, a record to close your eyes to and lose yourself in.
What you take from the album depends entirely on your expectations – more of the delicious same and you won’t be disappointed, want something a bit more daring however and you may be left cold.
The xx remain a band whose output is a lot more considered and mature than you’d expect from their youth. A band unlike other current pop acts, something different climbing the charts and festival bills.
Whatever comes next for the trio however they will surely have to evolve. It’s not as impactful as their debut by a long shot but it’s still, as mentioned, a perfectly lovely way to spend 40 minutes.