Coexist

The xx - Coexist
Critic Score
Based on 40 reviews
2012 Ratings: #135 / 956
Year End Rank: #25
User Score
Based on 454 ratings
2012 Ratings: #229
September 11, 2012 / Release Date
LP / Format
Young Turks / Label
Indie Pop / Genres
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thexx.info / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
Drowned in Sound

The xx lay out all of their pieces beautifully. There are no extraneous parts. Not a second that they didn’t intend.

91
Pretty Much Amazing

What could have been an overly ambitious sophomore effort is instead a concise, novella of an album that makes a deep impression and leaves a mark as it drifts away.

91
A.V. Club

Coexist presents a version of The xx that listeners will recognize, but cleans everything up a bit, subtly stretching and improving the formula that won acclaim. 

90
Uncut

So sultry and sensual it makes The xx sound like beginners’ luck, Coexist is going to be the midnight soundtrack to thousands of seductions over the next few decades.

83
Entertainment Weekly

It’s exciting to hear the minimalist U.K. trio approach their new-crush odes with such austerity in Coexist — just a few steady-droning Casios and an 808 rhythm that buh-bumps like a heartbeat.

81
Beats Per Minute

The end result is a quieted, more suppressed record that steps delicately from one note to the next and shines even more of a spotlight on the twin vocal sentiments of longing and crumbled romance. 

80
Consequence of Sound

Coexist surges forward and retreats within itself more than its predecessor but still never breaks the surface, existing in the liminal space between a song and a thought.

80
The 405

The album is a testament to what makes them great artists: the ability to take influences and mix in some of their own original thought to create that signature sound.

80
NME

It hides more than ‘xx’ did, sneaking its miserable joys behind bare spaces, surprise time signatures and subtle dramas.

80
Spin

What makes this music special is what Smith does with all that stylized sparseness, transforming it into something alive and dynamic instead of merely sleepy. Millions of late-night love-letter authors will be grateful.

80
No Ripcord

Overall, it’s a successful return, and a record that demonstrates the success of their debut wasn’t a fluke and that The xx truly are masters of musical alchemy.

80
Resident Advisor

Coexist is defined by its moments of silence and spaces between. The album is coloured and shaded gently by textural accents rather than big shifts in mood, or climaxes.

80
FasterLouder

Their second album is a paean to silence. Compressed and contracted by the most minimal of arrangements, the spaces are where you’ll find the band’s emotional secrets.

80
The Fly

Like their debut, ‘Coexist’ works best when enjoyed as a complete album, the band able to lull you slowly into their own world for 35-minutes.

80
Time Out London

Jamie Smith’s production is hugely impressive ... His contribution is just one eye-opening facet of a painfully sparse but also startlingly good album, one that almost disintegrates under the weight of its own sadness. 

80
Loud and Quiet

If it sounds a lot like the band’s first album it also sounds like they’ve worked hard to maintain that level of poise.

80
Clash

While the lyrics are a little lacking, the sonics remain impressive enough to divert attention.

80
The Guardian

For the most part Coexist's songs are defined as much by space as by sound. The gaps bring greater emphasis to the spidery guitar lines, the occasional steel pan, the distant icicles of piano, and the voices of Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim.

80
Billboard

This album is one that begs to be lived with for a long period of time, its quiet details given ample room to germinate.

80
NOW Magazine

While the basic formula remains, Coexist lingers longer in the realm of sub-bass than its predecessor. Its low frequencies, irregular rhythms and slow-burning dance beats creep into the songs and draw us in deeper.

75
Pitchfork

The most appealing thing about this record is that this band, having created a brilliant and moving sound, returns to it again for another 38 minutes.

74
Paste

It’s a calculated tradeoff: use space and silence to heighten an album’s intimacy, lose some immediacy. 

70
FACT Magazine

Neither spectacular or deflating, Coexist is simply the sound of the xx, more or less just as we left it: minimalist, intuitive, romantic and enchanting.

70
musicOMH

It's a good follow-up, just not a great one. More annoyingly, it feels like it could have been better. 

70
AllMusic

Coexist's exploration of isolation and intimacy is demanding and rewarding in its bold subtlety and eloquent simplicity.

70
The Line of Best Fit

The basest summation of Coexist is that it’s an xx album on which the songwriting isn’t as good, but the production is better.

70
Rolling Stone

On their second LP, as on their 2009 debut, the Londoners are masters of restraint, building songs from simple chord progressions, delicate guitar and keyboard ostinatos, the gentle rub of Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim's his-and-hers croons – and, most of all, from silence.

60
PopMatters

It’s hard not to feel that one of the year’s most anticipated releases only keeps you waiting and waiting for something more to happen.

60
The Skinny

Coexist is a more sombre, earnest affair; it’s mostly languid, without any of the dancefloor fodder that made the first such a joy.

60
Slant Magazine

Despite the fact that Coexist is both gorgeous and thoughtful, it’s difficult not to be disappointed by its anticlimactic drift.

50
Under The Radar

Yes, it's as laid-back and relaxing as pop music can get, but the sparseness has transcended the band's aesthetic and wormed its way into their hitherto impressive creative oeuvre

40
Tiny Mix Tapes

Coexist is definitely an album for the cocktail hour or for red wine. Alcohol has always been a prop to romance, but only in the short term: where xx was an album that got its hooks in you, Coexist becomes a somnolent atmosphere-in-itself, in which hooks are conspicuous by their absence.

Flamingooooo
60
I'm not hiding that I'm terribly disappointed with this album. After their great debut they could have done something much better and interesting and instead of developing, they simplified the music even more. It's not that I don't like simplicity, but in this album it's not that interesting, there aren't such unique sounds as in their debut and melodies are usually bad. Everything here is so repetitive and practically every song sounds the same. Angels, however, is a wonderful song and one of ... read more
Gyro64
70
I love the minimalist approach of the first album so much but it's a bit less interesting here. Also had a hard time telling tracks apart which is kinda disappointing considering how stand out the rest of The xx's (including Jamie's) songs are in each album.
MinatoArisato
75
Atmospheric, easy on the ears and it's got some damn good percussion.

Best Track: Chained
Worst Track: Unfold
TheRootBoy
70
"tumblrcore" is kind of a rude thing to say about this album I wouldn't write it off as that. It is slow, down tempo, and smooth, but just not a lot of substance behind it for me.
TCG1974
72
The first album was a pleasant surprise, this one was also pleasant, but without the surprise element it becomes kind of dull
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Decade Lists

/Albumism (2010s)

MISC LISTS

#6/Insound
#17/Pitchfork Readers

Track List

  1. Angels
  2. Chained
  3. Fiction
  4. Try
  5. Reunion
  6. Sunset
  7. Missing
  8. Tides
  9. Unfold
  10. Swept Away
  11. Our Song
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Added on: June 1, 2012