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Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Jun 14th, 2016

James Blake: The Colour in Anything

james blakeJames Blake
The Colour in Anything
(Universal Records)

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Right now, James Blake is a white-hot collaborator, having worked with Beyoncé and Drake recently. His third LP, The Colour in Anything, demonstrates the confidence of an artist who doesn’t bow to convention. Piano-driven soul meets melancholy electronica to create a darkly beautiful record. An early highlight is “Love Me in Whatever Way,” which slickly transforms from a heartbroken piano ballad to synth-driven, dramatic near chaos. Blake is no stranger to falsetto, so collaborating with Bon Iver makes perfect sense. “I Need a Forest Fire” plays the two off one another nicely, though “Meet You in the Maze” is slightly less successful in that regard. “Always,” co-written by Frank Ocean, is a hopeful, romantic tune with a dancy beat, though the effects on some of the vocals become a bit annoying as the song goes on. This brings me to my main problem with The Colour in Anything. While I can appreciate Blake’s uncompromising style, casual listeners such as myself can grow weary of the droning sounds and repetitious lyrics once the record blows past the album mark. Some projects demand a longer run time in order to pack in all of the artist’s ideas. Here, there are quite a few tracks among the seventeen that could have been left off without the whole suffering.

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James Blake: The Colour in Anything