Hello again!

Today we will talk about the album, which is distinguished by its balanced and adult approach both to composing and playing musical content, and selecting the right words to describe seemingly fairly simple and beaten-up topics that have sucked absolutely all possible musical genres for many years. . To be honest, I didn’t want to listen to this album with particular enthusiasm because I always have a biased attitude towards solo albums of artists that I have never listened to. Well, that is, if someone has not yet guessed what a snob and a biased listener I am, here is another confirmation for you, but I digress. In general, it turned out that the album is more than worthy of any attention of the modern listener since it not only sounds pleasantly, melodiously and emotionally balanced, but it also contains a very good sense content, in spite of some of my remarks, without which it also did not go.

So this is James Blake – a British performer, as far as I can tell, in such an alt. pop and alt. rnb genres. As you may know, for me personally, representatives of such genres may be How to Dress Well or Gotye. They have about the same combination of electronic-synth-acoustic instrumental and a very expressive voice, which sings ornate texts about love, relationships and various everyday situations, giving them quite elegantly. Again, I say this after repeatedly listening to the latest release of the artist called Assume Form. In many ways, I also associate this album with trip-hop, because we know quite a lot of trip-hop without slow rapping, but just with such soulful singing, strong songwriting without overloading it with instruments and vocals while using my favorite approach “to talk about complex things in simple words. ”

The name “Assume Form” follows from the track of the same name, in which the hero of Blake sings about how he is ready to step out of his comfort zone, take on the desired shape and effectively maintain relationships, thanks to this. On the cover we have, the actual portrait of the maestro, but not blurred, as in previous releases, which resembled the cover of the album Placebo – Meds. This time, the face of the maestro is in a clear perspective, which means that it can be assumed that this album will present the maximum of emotionally intimate and deep meanings (I don’t know how to say sorry). As a result, the only track that does not describe personal impressions and emotional connections in various romantic relationships is the final track Lullaby for my Insomniac, which is a kind of lullaby for someone who cannot fall asleep. Although, if you take it all for good, then this track can be brought to the concept of relationships and various forms love.

What I like in the text of this release is its balance, as I said at the beginning. There is no unnecessary frankness in emotions, vulgarity in sexual motives, whining, cliche and boredom in certain texts of the tracks. Here, almost any track text contains one tranquil idyllic tone, in which everything is in harmony and this harmony is in the relationship of the hero of Blake with his beloved person. In this text, he reflects on what the relationship should be and what kind of relationship he has, and he comes to the conclusion that his current relationship is so good and pleasant that he simultaneously expresses his gratitude to his partner and always waits for a trick, and says this in the track “Where’s the catch?”.

Plus, I really like the text in its form – it is simple, but very informative. All the symbolism is the simplest and most understandable, but it is served little by little in almost every line and at the end of one or another section of the corresponding tracks a very interesting and sometimes even complex drawing of ideas expressing a common meaning is built. Plus, I really like its tone – very adult, calm, constantly thinking and giving good advice at the end of the album like “if you have reached the point where you are as good as possible in all respects – do not lose this feeling.” That is, yes, the text is more than meaningful, although at first it may seem that it presents everything using the approach of “I see something, I sing about it.”

From a musical point of view, I still had a few issues with it because I am such a mess. I really like Blake’s vocals, and as I understand it, he always sings as if he is about to fall for crying. Do not misunderstand, in most cases, his vocals work great when the mood coincides, as in the track Assume Form, Barefoot in the Part or Lullaby for my insomniac, but I still wanted a little more variation, especially when the vocal keeps really 80% of all music content. I am not against minimalistic instrumentals, but sometimes it’s not very possible to distinguish tracks among themselves solely by instrumental – most likely, you will better distinguish them by vocal parts, invited rappers and vocalists and, in fact, choruses. The choruses here are clearly strong and memorable – this is not to take away.

The features contributed to the album’s diversity and this is already good, because for the first time for me, Travis Scott didn’t sound boring, and his part in the Mile High track was really well written, there was a good rapping performance from Andre 3000, but Rosalia was the best to cope with her task in the track Barefoot in the Part, because her Spanish-language parts were performed in a trembling voice very, very emotionally and expressively.

Generally, from purely musical perspective, the album takes the listener’s hand from the first track and plunges into such a calm, pleasant and harmonious stream of relaxation that I myself have not always been able to discern where exactly what sounded, which was good in its own way, but I didn’t have enough expression in tracks to distinguish them among all others. That is, we have a sensible, but sometimes repetitive vocal, which is not always relevant and we have sensibly supporting instrumentals, which were not always given a place to take the fore and open up to the fullest. On the other hand, when not overthinking the album like me, it still sounds great from beginning to end.

In any case, I would recommend this album to lovers of trip-hop, indie music, alt-pop and alt-rnb, because it really has a healthy amount of relaxation in sound and sensible content in the text. 4 out of 5.

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