The xx - Coexist

by Lewis Shepherd Rating:8.5 Release Date:2012-09-10

After three years of waiting The xx return with the follow-up to their Mercury Prize winning self-titled debut album, and I must say it's definitely worth the wait. I saw the group at Bestival two years ago, albeit outside the big top tent as I didn't get there soon enough, but the atmosphere was electric anyway. I can honestly say that I was extremely excited about this release and I wasn't disappointed. You won't be either.

Coexist automatically hooks you with that distinct sound of soft, haunting vocals coupled to the atmospheric, moody, slightly depressed, chilling sounds, familiar from the first album. However, while you may think this album night sound a bit samey-same, you would be wrong as they manage to make the music sound fresh and new, even though it's really not.

Coexist has a number of great tracks, with first single 'Angles' acting as brilliant alternative love song and 'Chained' a brilliant melancholy tale of troubled love. But the stand out track on the album for me is definitely 'Sunset' with its excellent chilled-out sound and brilliant lyrics demonstrating what happens after relationships when you stop talking to an ex, making it sad but relatable to most people in a way that a typical top 40 break-up song just isn't. This should definitely have been the lead track. Less stellar parts of the album include 'Our Song' and 'Swept Away', both of which just didn't reach the standard of the other nine songs and sound a bit bland. However, when the rest of the album is so goo this can be forgiven.

This really isn't an album which you'd want to listen to when you're depressed. If you're a fan of The xx then you probably know this already. After listening to the album it seems to be about lost or troubled loved, and when this is brought together with those haunting sounds and sad vocals it really hits you, and works on so many levels.

This is a brilliantly sad, depressing, minimalistic and melancholy album that will have you hooked from the very beginning. If you ever get the chance to see them live then do so, because whereas this may sound great on record I can guarantee it will sound even better live.

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