I first discovered the xx, an indie-alternative British band, thanks to a certain ex-boyfriend of mine, who, at the very least, brought some seriously good music to the relationship.
Their first self-titled album, “xx” (2009) is one of my favorite 15 albums of all time, somewhere between “In Rainbows” by Radiohead and “I Had the Blues, But I Shook Them Loose,” by Bombay Bicycle Club.
I just wanted you to know that I pretty much wake up and go to sleep to “xx,” so for the band’s latest album, “Coexist,” it’s not really a fair fight.
That being said, “Coexist,” which dropped on Sept. 11, definitely holds its own. It may not be my favorite of the two, but I would not discourage anyone from giving it a listen, or two, or three.
Let’s start with why the xx’s first album was incredible; I think Pitchfork Media might have said it best: “The xx’s self-titled debut was the kind of record that filled a void most of us didn’t know existed.”
For me, the first record came out of left field: an original, sensual, sound; a unique listening experience.
“xx” was the recipient of much praise, and many accolades, such as the Mercury Prize, given to the best album in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The album was also certified platinum in the UK.
Pitchfork listed the album as the third-best of 2009, while The Chicago Tribune listed it as fourth on its list of the 20 best albums of that year.
“Coexist” also manages to create the same kind of experience. It still manages to fill the listener with the same kind of feelings, filling that very same indescribable void.
But overall, the album sounds very similar to its predecessor, and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing (in fact, fans will probably dig it), I would have liked to see a different side of the band with their follow-up album.
Some favorite tracks on the record are “Tides,” “Angels,” and “Try.”
I highly recommend listening to this album at night, or in the very early morning.
Fans of the xx, don’t let my apparent lack of enthusiasm fool or sway you; “xx” is just a hard one to top for me. Overall, I rank “Coexist” as a 3.5 out of 5 stars.
The album is now available in stores, for download on iTunes and on Spotify. You can also listen to the album on the band’s official site, thexx.info.