The xx leaves you brooding and bold with its third album.
The first time I saw the xx perform on “Saturday Night Live” I was mesmerized.
The English band performed its new single, “On Hold,” and grooved to the music as if it was just jamming out in a member’s basement. I had heard the band’s music before, but this was the first time that I felt a rawness and depth in the lyrics that spoke to me and blended so nicely with the pop beats.
I was happy to find out that much of the band’s third album, “I See You,” which was released Jan. 13, is as passionate and pretty as “On Hold”.
Throughout the album’s track list the xx is able to connect with listeners by appealing to deep and sometimes dark thoughts that speak to nearly anyone. T
he lyrics paint a vivid picture of what it means to fear, to struggle, to take chances and to love.
The song “Performance” starts out with the lyrics “If I scream at the top of my lungs / Will you hear what I don’t say?” which suggests an inability to communicate fully in a relationship and a sense of being muted despite having a lot to express.
One of the slower songs on the album, “Test Me,” also speaks to the brooding cloud that sometimes hangs over a relationship with lyrics like “I’ll take it out on you / It’s easier than talking it through.” The frustration transmitted in these words and the minimalistic acoustics in the background leave listeners with a sense of exposure into the stripped-down minds of the musicians.
The revealing and affectionate themes of “I See You” are something that aren’t as common in indie pop nowadays, with the rise of electronic dance music and pop funk creating a culture of shallow lyricism and repetition that really reveals nothing of a connection between the artist and the listener.
For anyone looking to have an intimate look into a band’s heartstrings and have their own pulled through the vulnerable and bright tones, the xx is just what should be playing on their walk to class or during their late night study session.
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.