James Blake - James Blake
Critic Score
Based on 30 reviews
2011 Ratings: #47 / 900
Year End Rank: #8
User Score
Based on 558 ratings
2011 Ratings: #16
February 8, 2011 / Release Date
LP / Format
Atlas, A&M / Label
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
Tiny Mix Tapes

It’s a desperately lonely set of songs that will certainly take time to settle, but there could be no better time to start doing so than the dead of winter.

100
A.V. Club

Though it’s a walking contradiction—the living embodiment of less-is-more, born of the Information Age—James Blake somehow makes perfect sense.

100
Consequence of Sound

James Blake is an essential for anybody interested in witnessing how pop music can and will continue to change, progress, and grow into something new with time.

90
Pitchfork

Horgeous, indelible tunes that are as generous in content as they are restrained in delivery.

90
No Ripcord

James Blake is an astonishing record, an early contender for album of the year and could well change the face of popular music.

90
Clash

This understated flow may wrong-foot hype seekers, but just permit the beautiful structures to bubble over your ears as his warbled, testing vocals chase silence around.

85
Beats Per Minute

He achieves a lot with a little. He never gives us filler. He continues to innovate. He has provided us with a great album, one that is a sure sign his velocity has not been slowed.

80
musicOMH

This album will inevitably disappoint those who had their hopes pinned on Blake producing the definitive instrumental dubstep masterpiece.

80
PopMatters

It’s every bit as challenging, forward-thinking, and interesting as those previous EPs.

60
AllMusic

The rest of the tracks are more like exercises in sound manipulation and reduction than songs. The approach is no fault, but Blake pares it down to such an extent that the material occasionally sounds not just tentative but feeble, fatigued.

60
NME

Elsewhere Blake’s silences don’t weigh as heavy as he thinks they do, and 'James Blake' is too calculated an act of daring to really shine.

60
Under The Radar

The highs are notable. The problem is, Blake has put himself in a tight box, and when he strays out of it the material wavers.

60
XLR8R

Blake's voice and poetry strain to take us anywhere we haven't already been with more experienced inner-space travelers at the helm. Furthermore, his music has become inexplicably ponderous and static, at times seeming to stop dead in its tracks and not move forward at all.

50
Drowned in Sound

Boldness, you realise, is not the same thing as greatness, and James Blake is not a great album.

FearFlour
85
James Blake is one of those rare musicians that can harness repetition in the instrumentals and sometimes lyrics, and build on it in a way that's slow but can still be captivating throughout a whole track. Also super atmospheric and melancholy, with in general a super chill vibe that's perfect for studying/drawing/doing work. As far as singing goes this dude can SING really fuckin well, and knows when to use a bit (or a lot) of tasteful auto-tune.
BuffaloStaple
88
This shit just gets better and better for me with each listen, love the minimal production, and his voice is really pleasant in a very haunting way. I think it's an awesome album overall, although I don't care for Lindesfarne I, but I can look past it when there are highlights like Limit to Your Love & I Never Learnt to Share. Dig the experimentation a lot and I like how brief it is too, great record.
Pitchkrof
84
i don't know about my memes
i don't know about my memeing anymore
all that i know is i'm falling
falling
falling
falling
might as well fall in
Sappy
90
Top Favorite: The Wilhelm Scream
Other Favorites: I Never Learnt To Share, Limit To Your Love, Unluck
Least Favorite: Why Don't You Call Me
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