Album: The xx, Coexist (XL)
While, superficially, The xx appear to have retained for Coexist the same modest sonic approach as on their debut – small guitar figures, wisps of synth, the muffled puttering of steel pans and beats that seem embarrassed to be beating – underneath the surface, it's all raging emotions where its predecessor timidly avoided revealing the trio's inner feelings.
These are songs poised on the cusp of dawn, after long nights of soul-searching. It's an album that tracks the obsessions and antipathies of romance with forensic detail. Deceptively uneasy listening at times, but worth the effort.
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