James Blake - Assume Form
Jan 18, 2019
97
James Blake is in love. While ecstatic, he can also sense that something is missing. The anxiety and self doubt that usually dominate his mind have quelled. There is something he doesn't trust about that. This album is the story of Blake making the conscious decision to not question happiness. In order to honor this amazing love, he vows to Assume Form from out of the ether. He vows to be present and available in a way that he didn't think was possible. Throughout this LP you can hear the singer realizing, "I don't know everything and that is so freeing." So ready is he to learn new things from this love that he abandons his former shell and, analogously, he abandons his usual form of song writing. As if realizing that anything is possible, his compositions on this album are more abstract than ever before and Blake's old bag of tricks, no where to be found. That is not to say that this isn't completely recognizable, as Blake's incredible voice and piano skills always carry through. Needless to say, I am happy for the artist, but in a twist of sado-masochistic criticism, it has to be said; Sonically, this album isn't as immediately gratifying as Blake's darker and stormier work. However, where love is this good a medicine, immediate gratification is really more a placebo.
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