James Blake - Before
Critic Score
Based on 4 reviews
User Score
Based on 401 ratings
2020 Ratings: #299
Liked by 23 people
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The Forty-Five
In another world, the ‘Before’ EP would be the soundtrack to nights spent in dark venues and dawn journeys home under the harsh glow of bus lights. Until we get back there, it’s a great reminder of glory days that will find us again one day.

On new EP ‘Before’, he takes this newfound freedom, albatross firmly removed from around his neck, and dives back into his love for club culture, bringing with him everything he’s learned along the way.

Beats Per Minute

Throughout Before, Blake strikes the perfect balance between his production and vocals – neither one overpowers the other and are both equally important in making the record what it is.


A project which doesn’t quite reach the lofty heights of his studio albums, the Before EP nevertheless reaffirms James Blake as one of the most exciting and era-defining artists currently working.

Pros: Blake crafts a seductive and moving dance record that seems to be a throwback or a nod to his early works, an ode to his subtle and mellow electronic atmosphere he has almost perfected over the years; As an artist Blake has been to known to evolve his sound into a more R&B direction whilst still retaining the electronic side of his work with added glitch and distortion effects, and on this record he perfectly matches the two mixes into one cohesive yet albeit short record. I'm excited ... read more
James Blake is undoubtedly an all-time favorite artist of mine.

Though this maybe some of my least favorite works of his, it is still decent. While I see this as a step down from his recent singles, they have a character about them that fulfills what a project needs as opposed to a single track. The opening track begins with a cluster of sound that I literally hate but for the most part, the EP only rises and gets better from there. We get a noisy build-up that gets wiped out and is followed ... read more
Finally some new James Blake dance material. I've been a fan of this since his debut album. Easily the best EP i've heard this year, i hope he continues in this way. I expected just a bit more from Summer Of Now after the first 30 seconds.

Don't get me wrong, this EP has it's small moments and it's very chill and I sorta like it, but there's really nothing to write home about at all. The songs are solid but nothing much I feel the need to come back to this. It's just, decent, but I am still excited for a new full-length LP from him and have high hopes.
Mesmo que não seja a melhor coisa já feita por James Blake, 'Before' até que rende bons momentos, com destaque para a faixa título e 'Do You Ever' - as quais são bem divertidas para um projeto que parece não ter pretensão alguma.
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Track List

  1. I Keep Calling
  2. Before
  3. Do You Ever
  4. Summer Of Now
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Added on: October 10, 2020