Album Review: Jamie XX’s In Colour

Music producer Jamie Smith, formally known as Jamie XX, released a spectrum of sound in his new album In Colour early Tuesday. Largely known from being a member of the English indie-pop band, The XX, he is a solo act that is veered towards electronic music in his productions and remixes. In a short amount of time, Jamie has caught the eyes of many including vocalists such as Young Thug, who has a guest spot in the album.

Gosh, where do I start? “Gosh” bumps into one’s ear from the get go with high-paced, energy and heavy bass hitting strategically slower to balance the intensity the album already gives us. Jamie decided to get to the point! The album slows it down a little with the next track, “Sleep Sound”, but still keeps your body moving to the bass that has deepened its sound paired with a ghostly ’50s a capella group’s chants and twinkling sounds. The tempo is kept with “Seesaw”, and by this time, the music has morphed into your body movements and thoughts, lightly keeping you awake and wired in. For fans of The XX, this song definitely brings in that style with The XX member, Romy’s vocals added to the electronic beat Jamie’s best known for.

A change of scenery comes in “Obvs,” as the song flies us past sounds of a tropical paradise and into “Stranger In A Room” where we leave the carefree sounds we’ve gotten lost to and into a much more serious and insightful side of the album. “Stranger In A Room” starts off lightly, with The XX’s Oliver Sim’s soft voice singing to us, “You want to disappear in a crowd, just a stranger in a room/You just want to change your colors, just for the night with no word of it following you, no.” From here the album’s story slowly reveals itself, from being seemingly carefree to being a lonely escape from either the past or trials of life some of us are guilty of.

“Hold Tight” continues this darker vibe in the album, with repetitions of echoing beats and taps. The single “Loud Places” comes in next with Romy’s second vocalist spot in the album followed by “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times).” This song brings back the fun, upbeat sounds but still at a much more chill vibe as Young Thug spits his rhymes along with Popcaan, definitely a song to grab onto a significant other and dance with. Coming in after, “The Rest Is Noise” says it all in the title. The last two songs are mostly instrumental with no guest vocalists, giving Jamie his time to shine during the outro of his solo album. “The Rest Is Noise” has you swaying to the beat and last but not least, “Girl” has your head twirling to the light sounds of a guitar and vibrating, low frequency strumming.

Overall, the album was different in the sense of how it presented itself from the beginning. Instead of a gradual increase in pace and intensity, Jamie started off with a bang and effectively slowed things down to set the scenery of how one escapes in some sort of high and how reality sets in once that high goes away. This album deserves a second listen if for some reason the album didn’t impact as much the first time. The album has a different sound the second time around. Have a listen to it whenever you feel you need light stimulation, a wonderful listen indeed!

Rating: 3.8/5

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By Hazel Ramos

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