- xx

The xx - xx
CRITIC SCORE
86
Based on 20 reviews
2009 Rank: #13 / 799
USER SCORE
83
Based on
438 ratings

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
A.V. Club

The result is sexy like early Portishead and thoughtful like Young Marble Giants—a perfectly formed debut with a genuinely new sound way beyond the sum of identifiable forebears.

90
Drowned in Sound

They’re not magnificently written, with unspeakably beautiful melodies, and virtuoso instrumental performances, but they have an intangible spook. The XX know when to tense, when to relax.

90
musicOMH

For a debut album it’s brilliantly realised and contains not an inch of flab across its 11 songs.

90
No Ripcord

xx is a fantastically innovative album, and this band is exploring new territory.

90
Consequence of Sound

In less than 40 minutes of music, The xx have managed to offer an unforgettable debut and an album that deserves recognition come time for 2009’s year-end lists.

90
Slant Magazine

The xx opts for an appealing middle ground between immediacy and ambiance, and the highly sophisticated results are all the more impressive for being delivered by a foursome of 20-year-olds who have somehow acquired a knack for the kind of quietly ambitious songcraft for which some bands strive for their entire careers.

87
Pitchfork

Initially hospital-tile sterile, xx rewards volume and repetition like few other albums this year.

86
Coke Machine Glow

The xx’s penchant for concision lends this material some seriously refreshing clarity, but it’d be a mistake to confuse their relative minimalism for some kind of aesthetic singularity.

85
The Line of Best Fit

The band’s resounding achievement ... is to infuse their music with melancholy without letting it lose buoyancy.

80
PopMatters

xx is a thoroughly cohesive, moving and accessible album. This young band of Londoners exhibits a level of maturity, artistry and potential that far exceeds their years.

80
AllMusic

While the band's subtlety and consistency threaten to work against them at times, XX is still a remarkable debut that rewards repeated listens and leaves listeners wanting more.

80
NME

It’s strange that such a traditional set-up (drums, bass, keys, guitars, voices) has resulted in one of 2009’s most unique debuts.

80
Beats Per Minute

The band isn’t playing catch-up against a nonexistent reputation; they expect the record to speak for itself. And it certainly does. Every song is catchy and immediately enjoyable while not noisy.

80
The Skinny

At its heart xx is a pop record, brimming with slow-burning melodies and occasional rousing choruses.

80
Rolling Stone

Four pouty kids from South London, barely out of their teens, the xx see nothing wrong with playing Timbaland or Jam and Lewis-style R&B with an indie band's chops.

80
The Guardian

The album will win many friends for its beautifully haunting, understated charms.

80
FACT Magazine

Listening to The xx’s debut album, it’s impossible not to be overcome by the sort of sublime sadness that feels like a rheumatoid ache in the heart area.

80
NOW Magazine

As overwrought as the lyrics are, the songs have an attractive, dreamy, atmospheric quality that helps the London band avoid embarrassing teen melancholy.

70
The Fly

The real stand-out factor ... comes in the shape of the sublime vocal partnership between best buds Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim who sing up a sultry storm throughout these eleven hugely atmospheric offerings, complimenting each other beautifully and providing a real focal point. Dark and majestic.

exception
59
The intro to this record is the best thing that The xx have ever done and I will stand by that statement. Aside from that, this album is just fine. It comes off as uninspired and unenthusiastic every so often, but there is no single song that is so bad it sticks out, or so good it sticks out (aside from Intro). I really admire the dynamics of the instrumentals, which were improved upon a bit later on Jamie's solo project. The vocals and lyrics are also just fine, so I can't really complain ... read more
BuffaloStaple
52
I found this album to be painfully boring unfortunately, damn near every track sounded the same to me. I absolutely adore Jamie xx's solo album In Colour, I think it's wonderfully detailed whilst also being imo, a really fun, vibrant and inspiring album, it always puts me in a good mood. So to see him come through with such bland production here was a real disappointment, on every track he just kinda fiddles around with these soft guitar melodies and drum patterns that have no real impact on ... read more
90
Whether it's because of nostalgia or just because it's a damn good album I'm always willing to listen to the original XX album. Classic.
Zatak
88
Incredible how this record is 'almost' 10 years old. Re-visited because of I See You and was a very enjoyable listen.
pouls
30
If you looked at the score (which you most likely did), you are in shock (probably). If you defend the band's sound and whatever, you must be baffled. You must be thinking that I don't appreciate "true music" and that I am the worst around the site.
If you are reading this and like the band, I would like to ask you a little question. What is so appealing about the band's sound to you? I would love to know. Because this album does not show me what is good about the xx at all.
First and ... read more
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DETAILS

October 6, 2009 / Release Date
LP / Format
Rough Trade / Label
The xx / Producer
Indie Pop / Genres
thexx.info / Website
Tags
Track List
  1. Intro
  2. VCR
  3. Crystalised
  4. Islands
  5. Heart Skipped a Beat
  6. Fantasy
  7. Shelter
  8. Basic Space
  9. Infinity
  10. Night Time
  11. Stars
  12. Hot Like Fire (iTunes Bonus Track)
Contributions By
royalflush, alexgonzriv, philthy, erik