The rougher, rawer songs here demonstrate her desire to create music that she can support with her own “musculature,” to use another word she’s used lately.
It’s a tribute to their instincts that there’s nothing here that feels studied or overly developed. Instead, Plum fizzes and surprises with the kind of regularity that makes even its fine predecessor, 2015’s 1,000 Days, sound a little prosaic by comparison.
It’s the haunted croak of the band’s main singers, Ibrahim and Abdallah, that are the main draw: the sound of heartbroken gangleader, the world-weary soldier, bravado replaced by tenderness. It’s a sound that suits them perfectly.
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.
Some of the most exuberant and immediately engaging music they’ve ever recorded.
Hot Thoughts finds Spoon at the peak of their considerable powers, their ninth album effortlessly unfolding and gradually revealing its mysteries as they cement their place in the firmament of undeniably great rock bands.
The band continue to develop their sound and deepen their levels of engagement.
While there are hacksaw marks here and there, 50 is a finely turned piece that surveys the looming thunderclouds of mortality and the biblical gloom of the times, and – quietly, unshowily – transcends both.
Taken on its own, The Kid is a hugely satisfying example of Smith’s wholesome and harmonious vision, one that manages to enmesh the wonders of music, memory and nature via analogue synthesis without explicit reference to the healing properties of crystals.