The XX is an English indie-pop band. In recent years they have gained popularity; in 2009, they were first in a “Best of 2009” list by The Guardian.
Pros: This album is very minimalistic. I would almost consider it an a capella album, as it consists of drums, ambient noise, occasionally an instrumental melody, and vocals. Despite the minimalism, this album is very good. The melodies of the vocalists are enough to keep the listener intrigued into the song.
The lyrics are full of emotion. They tell a story about two people coexisting, or trying to make things work between them. The first song of the album, “Angels,” has the line “They would be as in love with you as I am.” It repeats throughout the song illustrating the beginning of the coexistence very well.
Cons: The simplicity of the album makes it boring and makes it feel longer than it is. There’s little variation between each song, and I felt like skipping past most of the tracks. There was a lot of hype for the album, but I find that all of the songs are very similar. The band has always used minimalist techniques, their debut self-titled album had much more melody to them. For example, their song “Crystalised” off of XX starts out with a clearly defined riff. Coexist has very little of that. It’s great to listen to as background music, but it isn’t something I would listen to just to listen to it. While I appreciate experimentation in the music, I have heard better experimental music than this.
I wouldn’t go out and buy this album, but if you need something to listen to as you do your homework or to fall asleep to, this would do.
Key Tracks: “Angels” “Sunset”