Album Review: The Colour in Anything by James Blake
Written by Bethel Biru on May 9, 2016
Three years. It’s been three, painfully long years since we’ve heard James Blake’s angelic crooning in his last album Overgrown. Many know him as the guy who sings “Retrograde” or “Life Round Here” and recently as a contributor to Beyonce’s latest album Lemonade. Now, the UK singer has finally come back and teamed up with not only Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, but also Frank Ocean
who is fake and disrespectful for helping write an album but won’t release his own to give us his anticipated new album, The Colour in Anything. Be ready to get deep in your feels and possibly ugly cry.
Where you lead me I will go
Where the rose water passes and dry river flows
And if that’s the way this year
Guess the thorns are on and the bloom I always fear
“Love Me In Whatever Way” by James Blake
The album starts of with “Radio Silence,” the first song out of 17. It instantly reminded me of “Retrograde” but still had it’s own unique sound. Harsh beats, low bass and his famous electronic tunes blend well with the piano keys seeping in the background as he softly sings about how “there’s a radio silence going on” in his heart.
It continues with “Points,” a song about how he loves a girl but can no longer connect with her because she’s not the same person he fell in love with. “It’s sad that you’re no longer her…” being the key lyric to a song as he yearns for the old her because they’ve now drifted apart and while he’s become a better person, she’s become someone he no longer recognizes.
The album is full of beautiful lyrics and melodies, “Timeless” carrying a more dark sound and heavier bass. Kanye West was actually supposed to feature on this track as Blake tells Pitchfork.
I don’t really know how to describe how that didn’t work out. I wanted Kanye to be on the song ‘Timeless,’ but the verse didn’t materialize. I think a huge swath of things happened in his life, and I just stayed out of it. Eventually, the mood of the album changed, and in the end I don’t think it would have fit. But I didn’t say I was working with Kanye just so people would get interested—I really wanted him to be on it.
“f.o.r.e.v.e.r” is probably the softest track on the album. It’s a simple song with beautiful but sad lyrics as he describes the shaky foundation of “forever” in relationships and love. It’s one of my favorite songs next to “Waves Know Shores” and “Always,” filled with metaphors and lyrical smoke and mirrors.
Don’t use the word, “Forever”
We live too long to be so loved
People change and I can be tethered
We think we are the only ones
“f.o.r.e.v.e.r” by James Blake
Even thought “Put That Away And Talk To Me” and “I Hope My Life” are my least favorite songs on the album – I like the beats but not the auto-tune – Blake reveals that he was actually extremely high and smoked a lot of w**d because he found no inspiration whatsoever to complete the album and felt like he hit a wall during the process.
So far this album has not disappointed. Even though it’s pretty long (an hour and 16 minutes), listening to him softly sing about his outlooks on life and love is totally worth it. Guess which track Frank Ocean worked on and tweet me what you think! Check out his full album on Spotify or Apple and make sure to keep up with James Blake on his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.