James Blake
CMYK


4.5
superb

Review

by For Meatplow USER (61 Reviews)
May 31st, 2010 | 63 replies | 13,325 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: CMYK's a surprisingly consistent EP, which is so fresh that, in the hands of many of his "peers," it would almost certainly fail.

13 of 15 thought this review was well written

James Blake's sound is instantly recognizable, as it can be categorized as dubstep while being a different breed entirely, which refuses to succumb to the stigmas associated with the genre. While his contemporaries - if you can call them that - are often too simplistic or too down-in-the-dumps to really care whether or not they prosper, Blake's work is engaging, as well as surprisingly innovative. Although just twenty-one, his music seems mature beyond what someone his age should be able to grasp. Rather than dance beats and 8-bit, he toys with jazz, soul, and classical influence. As well, he uses not just the seemingly obligatory synthesizer, but a grand piano as well, as he realizes that music, even in his field, is about more than just the typical conduction of drug-addled furors/stupors.

That's just his style. The blind adherence to the narrow confines of a genre doesn't float his boat, and so he decided to recognize several more elements of music which, in the context of his genre, nearly always take the backseat in favor of "ghetto bass." His sound, although concise, often utilizes the full extent of timbre, melody, and flair, as to prove that he won't be just another starry-eyed twenty-something, trying to succeed in the world of music. No, he's aiming higher than ever before, perfecting his creative splurges along the way.

CMYK can be seen as Blake's opus, as well as the apex of his innovative pizzaz; it's built off samples from ‘90s R&B mainstays, but the rest of his style stays true to his established sound. It's still rooted in electronic, and it continues to combine soulful chord progressions (oftentimes played on an organ), ambient-leaning atmospherics, and, of course, his signature glitches and quirks. This is to say, for fans, these songs play like more eclectic confident renditions of his past works ("Air and Lack Thereof" comes to mind most of the time), for the simple fact that Blake's become more aware of how to further his affinity with the almost-retro as well as the almost-futuristic.

Granted, he's always fused antique gospel with chiptune sounds, ambience, noise, and jazz, but now he's taking his sound to more unique heights. His honey-sweet coo remains intact, and he's not lost his ability to manipulate the almighty pitch-bend for the better, nor has he decided to abandon his remarkable fluency. No, his tracks all mesh together into what seems like one expansive song, and he also turns the most simplistic and minimal components into lush and melodious tracks, which could still be called "dance floor anthems." Take for example, the title-track, which shows this formula working for Blake as much as it can. It's a sound complete with giggling babies, Aaliyah samples, and warbling jazz notes, but it's not foreign territory for Blake, it's just his best version of it so far. In essence, CMYK's a surprisingly consistent EP, which is so fresh that, in the hands of many of his "peers," it would almost certainly fail. But this is James Blake we're talking about, and it seems impossible for him to do anything but shine.



Recent reviews by this author
Mattin Proletarian of NoiseGuernica (Japan) Shinseiki e no Unga
Veliotis / Sugimoto / Kinoshita / Unami QuartetKesha Cannibal
Mathos Franz JosephSachiko M, Toshimaru Nakamura & Otomo... Good Morning Good Night
user ratings (154)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Bitchfork
May 31st 2010



7584 Comments


I know that this breaks every Sputnik rule ever, but I have been waiting for this EP since March, and since it's finally come, I just had to bust out a review for this.

In fact, I'm sooooo close to bumping this to a 5, it's not funny. It's like a 9.3/10 as is (After six listens)

Bitchfork
May 31st 2010



7584 Comments


So yeah, buy this album (that means you Deviant.)
EDIT: Can someone explain to me the ghost neg that popped up before I even commented?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 31st 2010



30865 Comments


Sigh, so many things to check out

But in saying that, I am listening to the title track now and i'm not hearing a 4.5. Its a bit too cluttered, he's trying to incorporate too many ideas and nuances into one big pile and it seems kinda unfocused as a result. Also, the percussion line is a tad overwhelming. Its too overpowering and high in focus that I find it hard to latch onto anything else

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

Bitchfork
May 31st 2010



7584 Comments


But in saying that, I am listening to the title track now and i'm not hearing a 4.5. Its a bit too cluttered, he's trying to incorporate too many ideas and nuances into one big pile and it seems kinda unfocused as a result. Also, the percussion line is a tad overwhelming. Its too overpowering and high in focus that I find it hard to latch onto anything else



why i like it.

Bitchfork
May 31st 2010



7584 Comments


Deviant, the review good? Concerned bout that neg...

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 31st 2010



30865 Comments


Nothing wrong with the review, random negs abound all the time. Or maybe someone thought it wasn't well written, who knows. I'll pos, and I will check out the other tracks; call it a case of morbid curiosity

ArcanisTheOmnipotent
May 31st 2010



61 Comments


Happy now? Try not to post a multiple amount of reviews on the front page next time and you won't
have to hear from me again :smiley:

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 31st 2010



30865 Comments


If you were that robot guy, you were funnier then

Bitch: eh, this isn't rocking my boat. Its cool you're digging the vibe though but honestly, Mount Kimbie pulls it off better
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1Vt6ZDlJ4A

Bitchfork
May 31st 2010



7584 Comments


I will check out the other tracks; call it a case of morbid curiosity

I'd rather call it intuition because you know that I know that you know I have good taste, you know?

Happy now? Try not to post a multiple amount of reviews on the front page next time and you won't
have to hear from me again :smiley:


I like the name, but no one's going to call you omnipotent if you neg a review for the sole purpsoe that I wrote two reviews today. I've had writer's block for a while, so I made up for it, while promoting, in my opinion, one of the world's most underappreciated artists. If you find that it's poorly written, as Deviant. said, I don't care, go neg. But it looks suspicious when seconds after I post a review, it's got a neg. Otherwise, I wouldn't have cared.

ArcanisTheOmnipotent
May 31st 2010



61 Comments


just a heads up broski, it pisses people off, particularly if you selfishly bumped their review off the front page because you had to have two in a row.

but no need to thank me cause I removed the neg, just being an ass I'm sure.

Bitchfork
May 31st 2010



7584 Comments


Thank you, Arcanis, but the whole "selfish" argument holds no validity, considering the fact that if someone wants to post a review for something, they have full access to do so. If the person wants another one of their reviews posted on the front page that badly they can do what I did, and write another review. It's a no-brainer, and as long as the reviews are good, I don't see a problem with anyone doing this. It's just the fact that very few people write good reviews when they do that which bugs me.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 31st 2010



30865 Comments


I'd rather call it intuition because you know that I know that you know I have good taste, you know?

I honestly cant remember, you've spread your tastes over a few accounts now ;)

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 31st 2010



30865 Comments


And I have to disagree as well. While being on the front page isn't the be all and end all of reviewing on Sputnik, i can easily see why someone would get annoyed about being bumped off the front page simply because someone had an extra thought.

Just my thoughts, i'm no authority here

Bitchfork
May 31st 2010



7584 Comments


Ha

ha

Ha

ha

My actual taste is essentially that of Pitchfork.com (when it comes to anything but hip-hop), and a lot of post-black/drone metal. Although I'm on a real experimental pop/jazz kick. In fact, I'm currently reviewing Ingrid Michaelson's Girls and Boys.

Speaking of experimental pop... have you ever heard of Julian Lynch? If you haven't got it already get Orange You Glad. He's a fucking sitarist! He's literally the most world-savvy American in the music industry.

Bitchfork
May 31st 2010



7584 Comments


i can easily see why someone would get annoyed about being bumped off the front page simply because someone had an extra thought.


I don't know about you all, but I never check the reviews section, only the recent comments.

Bitchfork
May 31st 2010



7584 Comments


Really, Arcanis?

Dryden
May 31st 2010



12928 Comments


whoah

Bitchfork
May 31st 2010



7584 Comments


what, am i too hipster for you all?

ArcanisTheOmnipotent
May 31st 2010



61 Comments


uh huh.

Foxhound
May 31st 2010



4570 Comments


Why are you people awake?

Ep looks interesting.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy