Album Review: The XX, Co-Exist
When’s the last time you bought a physical copy of an album?
Okay, so you probably have 47 albums on vinyl. I get that. I’m talking about CDs. When’s the last time you went to the store and bought a CD for an artist you liked? I purchased a handful of CDs over the last few years and I decided why not review them? These reviews won’t be in-depth, technical reviews. If you’re into that sort of thing, head over to Noisey or Complex and read a dissertation about a J Cole album. These reviews are mostly why I bought the album, songs I like, and general impressions of the artists themselves. Before I kick off this first review, let’s go over the albums that I’ll be talking about. There’s a few that I remember buying in high school, but I’ll review those further down the road.
- The XX, Co-Exist
- Tyler The Creator, Wolf
- Kimbra, Vows
- Alice in Chains, Black Gives Way to Blue
- Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine
- The Neighborhood, I Love You (digital copy, but it’s an important part of why I’m doing this)
The XX are a band from England. They formed in 2005 after meeting in South London. Wikipedia classifies them as “indie pop,” whatever that means. I, personally, classify their music as “two lovers staring at each other pensively.”
You could probably take all three of their albums and play it in the background of the movie Closer and it would win the Oscar for Best Score.
The band members include Romy (vocals, guitar), Oliver Sim (vocals, bass), and Jamie XX (beats, production). You may know the band’s song “Intro” from their self-titled debut. The song was featured in the movie Project X and seems to be a favorite of sports highlights.
The first track that I heard from Co-Exist is, funny enough, the very first track, “Angels,” is one of the band’s most popular tracks, at least on the jukebox at Gold Star Bar in Wyandotte, Michigan. It’s the kind of song that you’d dance to at your wedding. Or the kind of song that you’d listen to when you’re stalking your ex. I guess what I’m getting at is that the song, and the rest of the album, is versatile in the kinds of emotions that it can elicit from a listener. One moment, you’ll be thinking about the fact that you weren’t asked to the Sadie Hawkins dance at all in high school. The next minute, you’ll be cardio kickboxing to a track like “Sunset.”
This track will make you want to do rhythmic punching or drunk dial your ex (maybe even both).
I will say that this is the kind of album you have to “be in a mood” for. Many of the songs are slower, paced tracks. Not that it’s a terrible thing, it’s just not the kind of album you’ll put on when having friends over. I find myself returning to the few upbeat tracks on the album such as “Fiction,” “Swept Away,” or the aforementioned “Sunset” because they don’t make me want to stare into the middle distance and think about the time I said “you, too” after a server told me to enjoy my meal. The bread and butter of The XX is, of course, their dreamy yet emotionally charged tracks. However, I think they really excel at making upbeat pop tunes (something that Jamie XX did on his solo project In Colour).
So, this is the part where I give the album some arbitrary score or measurement of approval. I’m not going to do that because it’s dumb and ultimately doesn’t give a reader an indication of whether they should listen to it. It’s just a number or a letter. 1 to you could be a 10 to me.
Final Score: Five Pizza Slice Emojis out of Five. 🍕🍕🍕🍕🍕