The xx
Coexist


3.0
good

Review

by Grant Thomas USER (15 Reviews)
October 5th, 2012 | 5 replies | 1,067 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Minimizing the minimal.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Take a house and put it in front of an audience. House. Take away the stuff inside. House. Take away everything but the frame. Still identifiably a house. Now take away the frame and simply leave the idea. Not really a house anymore, is it?

After receiving critical acclaim from their self-titled debut album, The xx returned with their sophomore album Coexist. Point being, their debut was much loved because of its minimalism. It stood out. It was the frame of the house, clearly communicating: “House.” In Coexist, The xx has tried to strip the constructed frame from the house, and has left a pile of wood, yet is still trying to say “House.” When you have a frame of a house you can have different houses, i.e. Victorian, split level, townhouse etc. With a pile of wood, if you can somehow communicate house, you will have a very hard time communicating and differentiating aspects of a house.

That being said, Coexist isn’t bad per se, but it is a far cry from the debut. The album overall is more intimate, yet less meaningful. The two singles “Angels” and “Chained” are excellent. “Angels” is the only track off the album sung solely by Romy Madley Croft, and she really stands out. In “Chained,” Oliver Sims and Croft sing about a relationship “that used to get closer than this.” It seems as though the song mourns a failed relationship, but the instrumentation is energetic and doesn’t really fit the lyrics. Later on in the album come the eerie synths in “Try,” complete with breathy whispered lyrics much like that on the rest of the album. The best track on the album, “Missing,” is just over the halfway point in the album. It uses a heartbeat as the beat and really illustrates the loneliness of the song well. “Tides” has a catchy palm muted guitar riff, with an incredibly groovy bass-line in the background that is very fun, but again doesn’t match the lyrics. In the song directly after that, “Unfold,” Sims and Croft deliver their most vocally emotional track, with echoing instrumentals and some reminiscent heartbeat beats.

The album has some knights in shining armor, but overall is a bit monotonous and lacks differentiation. There is no denying that The xx is getting better as musicians, but Coexist is too minimalist. There is nothing wrong with minimalism; I enjoy it. Simple composition can be beautiful and should not be tossed aside, but The xx is minimizing minimalism, and what’s left is a little boring.



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user ratings (381)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Robbie Byrne (2.5)
    Copy and paste formula fails to enthral as much as its predecessor....

    fish CONTRIBUTOR (4)
    Don't call it a sophomore slump...

    GiantMan (4.5)
    The XX take on the club scene and make it their own....

    EoinMcKenzie (2)
    Becoming more understated and quiet doesn't help The xx this time around....

  • LudditeStereo (4)
    At its hollow core, Coexist is an album about two people who seemingly no longer can....

    Andru Okenuf (2.5)
    Though the XX have become better and more well-rounded musicians, they’ve lost much of t...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
ThroneOfAgony
October 5th 2012



3485 Comments


Boring band, never could get into them.


Nice review too

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
October 5th 2012



2714 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I'd go with monotonous myself, but well argued nonetheless.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
October 5th 2012



3442 Comments


A well-written review, have a pos. I thought the rest of the review was weaker than the first couple lines but it's a good one nonetheless.

Rikardur
October 5th 2012



731 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Mostly shit album, good review.

HighandDriving
October 6th 2012



3288 Comments


Take a house and put it in front of an audience. House. Take away the stuff inside. House. Take away everything but the frame. Still identifiably a house. Now take away the frame and simply leave the idea. Not really a house anymore, is it?

Simply leave the blueprint would be a betta analogy.

Going to have to neg you for not being as smart as me.



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