The xx - I See You
Critic Score
Based on 37 reviews
2017 Ratings: #111 / 716
Year End Rank: #27
User Score
Based on 840 ratings
2017 Ratings: #164
January 13, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
Young Turks / Label
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The remarkable thing about ‘I See You’ is that it doesn’t tire – quite the opposite, it grows with every single listen.

Entertainment Weekly
The payoff is the boldest work yet from a band famous for subtlety—the sound of the xx hitting the caps-lock key.
A.V. Club

The most eclectic, multidimensional, and ambitious album of The xx’s young career.

Pretty Much Amazing

The band retains its core strengths (pillowtalk vocals, echoing, urbane guitar lines) while expanding its sonic reach and stretching for the bleacher seats. It’s an excellent and surprisingly comforting way to begin 2017.


‘I See You’ is perhaps the bravest album of the band’s career, the one laden with the most changes, with the most prolonged journeys into the unexpected. Yet it also feels resolutely like The xx.


The xx have taken in all the experiences and lessons they have learned since their breakthrough and come up with their most adventurous and quietly uplifting release to date.


I See You is a much-needed and very successful recalibration of what defines the xx as a band. Without sacrificing any of the confessional, emotionally rich material that made us love them in the first place, the band has dispensed with self-consciousness and proven their ability to expand upon previously held identities, thus cementing their continuing preeminence in the indie music world.

Northern Transmissions

Fragile, confident, vulnerable, enchanting; The xx just keep on perfecting on perfection.

Under The Radar

Throughout the album you can still hear the band's penchant for complex arrangements, dreampop vocals, and the call and response storytelling between Oliver Sim and Romy Croft. No genre is off limits for the U.K. outfit: the band experiments with pop, R&B, jazz, and even gospel this time around.


I See You, the third album by the xx, sounds like an attempt to incorporate everyone’s talents into a new version of their sound, one true to their roots but richer and more varied.

Consequence of Sound

Add up the creative sampling and the synchronized dancing, and we get a revamped version of The xx that hinges less on awkwardness and anxiety and more on another, unexpected “A” word: ambition.

The Guardian

I See You pulls off the feat of managing to sound both exactly like the xx and unlike anything they have done before.


On ‘I See You’ we meet a new tactile version of The xx. They’re relaxed, warm, joyful even ... They find a balance with the old xx though. Fragility and self-doubt are still themes.

Drowned in Sound

While nothing will compare to the band's exceedingly unattainable debut, it is refreshing to see the band learn from their mistakes on Coexist and create something new and intriguing, but still ultimately them.

Slant Magazine
The band remains contemplative even when their arrangements are robust and their lyricism is jubilant. And rather than merely looking inward, the album reveals songwriters emboldened enough to step outside themselves to look at how others may perceive them.

I See You is some of their most captivating music since their debut.


‘I See You’ sees the trio taking full advantage of the producer’s big league status, applying his trademark to their traditionally gloomy, loved-up pop. But it’s also a record that sees co-vocalists Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim taking on bold new territory.

NOW Magazine
The xx have always been concise pop songwriters, but now they seem interested in approaching the gates of pop nirvana.

This is the sound of the xx growing up and examining how far they’ve travelled. I See You is more nuanced and upbeat than their previous records but, perhaps shrewdly, it enhances their blueprint rather than completely redrawing it.

No Ripcord

I See You is a sprawling album. The band has embraced the spectacle, yet it is not the antithesis of their previous minimalist work.

God Is in the TV

Although there’s plenty of The XX’s patient nocturnal music on show, their third album I See You carefully expands upon the dance side of this coalition without breaking the harmony between the two genres.


The xx have managed to kick off 2017 with more vibrancy, heart and poetic fusions, whilst maintaining an undoubtedly individual presence in the music industry.


On I See You, The xx have expanded their horizons without sacrificing any of the emotional intimacy that makes them one of the most compelling acts around.

The Independent

The band succeed in bringing some light into the picture while also acknowledging that some of those feelings of anxiety or inadequacy are still there.

The Telegraph

These splashes of new musical colour correspond with a growing confidence and maturity in the songs themselves, but the overall mood remains intensely vulnerable.

The Observer

Using samples for the first time, they have tweaked their sound in myriad ways, while still retaining the sense of proximity within spaciousness for which they are famous.


I See You is a pleasant enough listen, and in embracing Smith’s more hot-blooded production, the xx have avoided becoming stuck in a rut a second time. Yet like Sim and Madley-Croft in song after song, I See You still leaves me wanting something undefined: something more.


The xx largely avoided any major pitfalls here, coming out the other side with a consistently rewarding pop album that retains enough of their sonic signature to please old fans and enough new sounds to pique the interest of the unconvinced.

The Line of Best Fit

The record passes by pleasantly and there is much to be commended but I See You seldom truly penetrates.

Loud and Quiet

The xx’s heavily hinted-at pop confidence has arrived, to frequently exhilarating and occasionally deflating effect.

Rolling Stone

The xx have never been so unguarded, either emotionally or in their musical ambitions. The result is as haunting as ever.

The 405

Hushes and pockets of space fall away and there is a strain to fill those gaps and move toward a musical extroversion. The album, then, becomes stuck in a middle ground between past and future.

Spectrum Culture

With a few flourishes and tweaks, the band have proven themselves to be something greater than originally anticipated.

The Skinny
The xx are moving forward, but they don’t know quite where they’re headed.
The Needle Drop

I See You is more musically engaging than its lackluster predecessor, but the awkward sadness and sensuality remain.

FLOOD Magazine

The erstwhile minimalists have never made a record that sounds so glossy and full, but there’s not enough production polish in the world to mask the the hurt and the vulnerability at its core.

Crack Magazine

Self-conscious, insincere melodrama reigns on I See You, and those pressured silences that were once The xx’s trademark have lost their power.

The xx's new album sees the band developing their sound with Jamie xx's electronic chops up front as the pivotal point. I See You is a much more mature and forward-looking work in comparison to their stagnant sophomore record, and some of the boldest cuts in the first half prove the point. By stepping out of the incredibly comfortable direction followed by the band in their previous album, The xx reach a new level of strenght here with some well-written songs that predominantly carry out that ... read more
The xx seem to bring together what they each have to offer to create something none of them could pull of individually, a sound that is recognisably their own.
Per their MO, The xx continue to deliver bare-bones lyrics accompanied by a range of eclectic instrumentation. However, "I See You" takes the band one step further. Their newfound maturity radiates from every song, taking the listener along a journey of impassioned revelations.

Notable Songs: "Dangerous"; "Say Something Loving"; "A Violent Noise"; "Replica"; "Brave for You"; "On Hold"; "I Dare You"
My favorite of their albums. As cliché as Jamie's songwriting can be, I love the nocturnal, introverted-dance tone he can pull off. On Hold still sucks, and wasn't a good representation of the album. The music is still "minimal cool-kid" music, but with much more adventurous beats, as compared to their other albums. The lyrics are pretty two-dimensional, but that's never been a strong suit of theirs, nor the main thing to focus on in their music. Romy and Oliver's vocals are ... read more
FAVORITE TRACKS: Dangerous, Say Something Loving, Lips, On Hold, Performance & A Violent Noise

LEAST FAVORITE: I Dare You & Brave for You
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Track List

  1. Dangerous
  2. Say Something Loving
  3. Lips
  4. A Violent Noise
  5. Performance
  6. Replica
  7. Brave for You
  8. On Hold
  9. I Dare You
  10. Test Me
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Added on: November 10, 2016