The Colour in Anything

James Blake - The Colour in Anything
Critic Score
Based on 32 reviews
2016 Ratings: #107 / 947
Year End Rank: #25
User Score
Based on 895 ratings
2016 Ratings: #148
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Not that we need any further reminding, but Blake’s latest achievement reinforces just how unique and vital of a creative force he is. Album of the year, until otherwise notified.
Consequence of Sound

Now that a broken heart’s left him wounded, the melancholic fissure of his music widens, dropping him into a pool deeper than any he’s ever found himself swimming in before. Yet here he is, splitting it up, sectioning it off, and presenting a work that feels equal parts natural and divine.

Entertainment Weekly
If this is what modern soul music sounds like in 2016, consider James Blake the genre’s sharpest visionary.

The Colour in Anything is a work of restless invention, standing as Blake’s most creative collection to date.


From its weighty subject matter to its incredibly nuanced production, The Colour in Anything is not only Blake at his best, but also his most personal.


A staggeringly impressive and confident third album from an artist who has reached the very peak of his powers.

Drowned in Sound

As with Overgrown, Blake has expanded far beyond the sonic roots he forested on his self-titled album.

No Ripcord

His voice is peerless, quietly adapted to his world of minimalist beats and ghostly electronics. The effect is stark, and intensely compelling. At 17 tracks long, this is a listen that plumbs substantial depths, but in Blake’s world, time ceases to be a constraint.

The 405

It's an introspective, at times hesitant collection yet in the way most introverts allow themselves to relax within company, the more time you invest in The Colour In Anything the more readily you will discover its qualities.

The Young Folks
This album is not perfect in the slightest, but it is so well put together.
Pretty Much Amazing

Even if Colour doesn’t drastically alter Blake’s sound, it widens and refines it, keeping what made his first two records so memorable while hinting that there remains ever further room for growth.


In the best way possible, in no way shape or form is The Colour in Anything a rapid departure or reversal of what Blake does well. He still paints in deep blues and greys. His production is still unparalleled, spacious, and impossibly textured. His voice is still chilly and metallic, but maintains all its choir boy charm. His music is still towering and menacingly sad.

The Guardian

This album of digital anxiety and millennial unease is wrapped in something that feels both toweringly accomplished and heart-wrenchingly frail – and for that reason it should be treasured. 

'The Colour In Anything' features Blake's richest and most emotionally resonant work yet.

A record that reveals itself slower than his previous works, unfolding like a flower rather than bludgeoning you with balladry.

Under The Radar

In an era of 9-12 track albums, The Colour in Anything comes in at 17 songs and the amount invites you to explore and absorb at random, offering moods and tempos beyond just the ruminative and forlorn.

Tiny Mix Tapes

The Colour In Anything emphasizes the element of trust that collaboration implies and its role in articulating Blake’s feelings. It’s an act that stresses both our desire to share and our yearning to create, even when we aren’t really sure what it is we want to say.

The Line of Best Fit

Blake is stood on his own as the darkening sky burdens him on the album's artwork ... It perfectly encapsulates the sound of The Colour in Anything, and of James Blake’s allure in general - taking an intense and isolating gloom and turning it into something beautiful and distinctive.

The Observer

More soulful, perhaps, than its predecessors, but overlong at 17 tracks, it expands Blake’s bleak vision.

Resident Advisor

The promise and brilliance of The Colour In Anything's best songs are replaced by a sense of listlessness. In his mission to keep things quiet and subdued, Blake nearly snuffs out his own flickering flame.

Rolling Stone
Blake's third album (all 76 minutes of it) reaches back to the abstract electronics and agile, brittle beats of his early EPs while pushing his songwriting towards new levels of sad urgent grandeur.

Compared to the self-titled debut and Overgrown, this a more graceful and denser purging, one that can soundtrack some intense wallowing or, at a low volume, throb and murmur unobtrusively in the background.


Like the watercolor cover art depicts, there’s even a glint of light and new tonal colors to be found in Blake’s monochromatic sound.

God Is in the TV
It demands that you sit down and really listen to the record in all its glorious misery but it’s also dusted with the kind of magic you could only find on a James Blake record.
NOW Magazine

The Colour In Anything is a good album that could have been great if Blake had been a bit more willing to edit and discard his less successful sonic experiments.

Slant Magazine

The Colour in Anything, as dazzling as it often is, finds Blake sidetracked by all the things he can do and doing them coldly, rather than focusing on the few things he should.


The rest is, as mentioned, colorless and tedious, with Blake’s typical lugubriousness added in.

The Needle Drop
Singer-songwriter and producer James Blake returns three years after this sophomore effort, delivering a surprisingly lengthy and disjointed album.
The wonderfully evocative cover for this album is a fitting image for this absolutely stunning album.

Sometimes things don't get easier.

Recently I've been making a new habit in my first week of my new boarding school. Every night, I'll sit up on my windowsill, open my window and stare at the stars. All of this whilst listening to this very album.

The last month I've been thinking about what makes music special to me. What does music need to do to me for it to be more than just good or ... read more
Just beautiful and so organic despite this being part electronic album.

Best Track: I Need A Forest Fire
Worst Track: F.O.R.E.V.E.R.
It's creative, experimental, winding, and sad; not much more to ask for.
A modern take, this is the home of classical music, housed in the present. The electronic bits are uninvited, but what a juxtaposition. A beautiful voice, shattered into fragments, this album was probably perfect but Blake smashed it on the ground and pieced it back together again, to give us a haunted, flawed album. What an album.
Wait before Radiohead...
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Added on: May 5, 2016