In Colour is the debut album by Jamie xx, from the Mercury Music Prize winning band, The xx. Over the past six years Jamie xx has worked with and re-worked the likes of Radiohead, Alicia Keys and Florence & The Machine but his crowning glory must be the reworking of Gil Scott Heron’s I’m New Here album. In Colour will please fans of his collaborative efforts and includes, Girl, Sleep Sound and Loud Places. The latter is the forthcoming single.
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- Triple LP £25.49
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- YTLPX122 / Limited deluxe coloured vinyl edition 3LP and CD on Young Turks. Cut at 45rpm + includes 2 bonus instrumentals.
5 reviews. Add your own review.
Jamie Smith is a popular man. Through releasing a few 12 inchers and DJing anywhere post-XX success, he has the music media large and small in the palm of his smug little hands. This is presumably licence to do whatever he wants, including the appropriation of truly great pieces of music as the foundation for entire tracks, pirate radio nostalgia that appeals to his chums’ wannabe working class ideals and, in a massive dick move, releasing statements about how he prefers working alone after the numerous collaborations on here. Or maybe it’s the fact that it’s cut to 45rpm because everyone’s a DJ and loves to waste plastic. Maybe.
Don’t worry Jamie, I won’t judge your music by your person. It’s the weight of the feelings that you can convey that is important, right? Ladies and gentlemen, In Colour deceives with the rudeboi samples of first track ‘Gosh’ and quickly descends into heartthrob electronic dreampop that, like The XX’s Coexist, is just a cloud of gas. Melodies and lovely layers and vocals are all there, but they’re all the same downcast, limp chords that inspired little emotion then and even less so now.
But it’s ok, Jamie has something to save the record, and that’s his sample collection which he seems to whip out like an awkward unprompted show & tell. Apparently, ‘Loud Places’ didn’t contain that Idris Muhammad sample in the chorus that incidentally the whole track depends on. But he just decided that ‘it needed it’ - nah mate, your musical career needs it. YOU need these musical masters so that YOU can exist. Let me be clear that sampling itself isn’t the problem here, it’s the blatant, direct rip of a chorus to make a summer anthem that is just not how it’s done. Uninformed people say that ‘anyone can make a dance track’, and this is why they say it. Anyone can drop a big soulful sample into an average piece of music and it becomes great, and Jamie Smith knows it. A few steel drums aren’t gonna cover that up.
9/10 Marcus Customer review, 14th July 2015
Three emotions sprung to life within me upon reading the two reviews above.
#1: Shock. I'd been listening to the white label preview of Jamie's record non-stop up until its release. The biggest tracks already warm to my ears (which are relatively young, relatively inexperienced to the world of electronic music), this was THE album of 2015 for me. I was shocked Jamie xx was such a disappointment to perhaps more knowledgeable listeners.
#2 Amusement. I've had some of the best moments of my year so far with this album being the soundtrack. From the loud and proud anthems of 'Gosh' and 'Girl', to the poppy nod to fellow xx members in other tunes such as 'Seesaw' and 'Loud Places', this album feels as if it is bursting with uplifting energy as opposed to the reserved melancholy one often experiences listening to the xx's records. Therefore I was genuinely amused reading reviews with very sharp words!
#3 Determination. I'm determined to convince other music-lovers that this is not a record to miss out on simply because more experienced reviewers with more nuanced tastes are disdainful of it. I am in love with this album and feel it needs the credit it deserves (I'd have given it 7 or 8/10 but I wanted to boost the dismal average star rating it currently has on this site!) It may well be tailored to mainstream listeners but I think it's gorgeous.
Peace & love.
4/10 Andrew Customer review, 31st May 2015
Basically what Laurie said but with a bit more grump.
I have pretty much dug most of what Jamie XX has done up to now, I bought his solo 12" that smattering of his remixes and enjoyed the Gil Scott-Heron rework. But something about this gets right on my wick. I think its that he has taken a couple of my loves and treated them like disposable wet wipes, cleaning up his skid marks of tracks hoping that the wipes fragrance will make everyone concentrate on the sweetness rather than the stink.
What I'm taking about is 'Loud Places' - a whisper of a track that has already been adopted by Radio 1 to promote its summer programming. Why has it been adopted? Not because of anything Mr xx has done, no it's that walloping great slice of Idris Muhammad's incredible 'Could Heaven Ever Be Like This' that lifts the track whenever it is clumsily dropped in. So well done Jamie - that's disco abused.
Next we have Gosh, a poor attempt at the hardcore sound, its wishy washy ethereal stab at mc and breakbeat is a horrible 'tribute' to a sound that was so much more vibrant than this ever gets close too. Like a coffee table Shut Up And Dance that your nice auntie wouldn't be offended by this track affects a pirate radio vibe whilst asking its dad if it xan use the Volvo to go to the country cottage this weekend.
I think Jamie XX can be and is better than this. Maybe he had a crisis of confidence when putting a debut album together, maybe he suddenly got caught up in that artistic need for 'realness' forgetting that means being true to yourself, not pretending to be something else that you perceive as being real. As his house master may have written, Master Smith must try harder, though equally maybe he shouldn't be trying so hard?
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