As a fan of the xx, I have been waiting for this album to drop for ages (and am pretty bitter that his NYC show sold out before I could get tickets) and it delivered just what I wanted.
While some people thought this was a huge break from the xx's sound, I feel like Jamie stuck very close to his signature style. The title and design of the album 'In Color' is meant to be the polar opposite of the xx's notoriously dark and monotoned themes, but take a listen to Loud Places and tell me that it isn't a classic xx song. Not that I'm complaining!
Basically, the 11 track album is filled with solid tracks that feel like the xx's debut album took a brief Caribbean vacation. There's more life to the songs, but it still is the perfect zoning out music.
If You Can Only Listen to 3 Songs:
The entire album has the tendency to blend together so I can't pick out three songs from the non-single tracks. 'Gosh' and 'Obvs' are a good time, but a lot of the tracks like 'Just Saying' and 'Hold Tight' seem to meld into one song for me. Here are the three tracks that really stand apart from the rest and are really worth a listen.
Stranger in a Room (ft. Oliver Sim)
It's a little hard to separate your sound from your other band when you keep collaborating with your other band mates! Oliver Sim is one of the founders of the xx (way back when he was 15 years old) and has a voice that makes me want to curl up somewhere and go to sleep. This track could have been taken from any of the xx's albums.
Loud Places (ft. Romy)
This was actually the first song I heard off this album and I loved it from the first 10 seconds. I can't ever get enough of Romy's voice (another founding member of the xx) and this is where we can see Jamie xx playing around with new sounds. There is a beat that would never touch an xx song and it my head nodding before I even knew it.
I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times) (ft. Young Thung, Popcaan)
This is a standout track not only because its a fun track but because it is so different from any other song on the album. It's all dreamy and smooth and then Young Thug comes out of nowhere to tell you "she gon' get on top of this dick And she gon' squish it like squish."
I can't say I hate it, but I would have loved to hear to discussion when they were sequencing this record.