I have to say, I had a bit of mix feelings about the release of the record, mostly because of the release of the second single off I See You - "Say Something Loving" which the UK trio released a few weeks back. It not only didn't grab me, it made me feel seriously weird. That feeling, however, vanished the moment I woke up and hit the play on album's opening track and instrumentals of "Dangerous" kicked in. That was the most solid sound signal I See You will be a very different release than XX (2009) and Co-exist (2012) and the fact that "production" will be a keyword in many album reviews and discussions when it comes to this release.
Before anything - here's the Spotify URL (hope it works for you guys), if not there are some other tunes embedded below.
Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim keep creating this outstanding and very intimate ambiance, the evolution of Jamie XX's sound is seriously vivid - I dare you not to hit the repeat the button on "Dangerous"! I guess you could find some In Colour (his solo album released in 2015) sound traces throughout the record which is great - besides the usual lo-fi, minima strange blend of indie and electronica, the trio now throws in a pretty good variety of other genres like techno, bits of new wave, dance to... fairly great extend. Also, some tracks have a definite rave-y feel to them, which adds to the diversity and upbeatness to the album.
Few weeks ago I was reading some features about band's "Hold On" and the text snipped which stuck in my mind was "the band can't be label as a sad one anymore". Partially true, because of few things mentioned in the previous paragraph, but on a second listen of the album, you'll find yourself very quickly wrapped in some pretty mellow vibes especially with tracks like "Brave For You" (a tribute to Romy's deceased parents) and "Performance".
I've tried to visualise I See You in a waveform and in my mind it looks like a path with ups and downs which sends listeners into very different sound spaces, but that's kinda the beauty of it - I think a lot of people will find something for themselves in those 10 tracks. I am definitely the kind of person who's jumping on the uphill destinations and after 5 or 6 listens of the album, can safely say that the horns of "Dangerous", the repetitive kinda r&b-ish sample of "Hold On" and expansive electronica of "I Dare You" are already growing on me.
To kinda sum it up I feel the album is the perfect display of the evolution of their sound as a whole and as individuals. I can't really say if that would be one of the highlights of 2017 for many people, but whether you're stuck on the good old "VCR" days or not - I bet you'll find something interesting and captivating. I think the guys have done an outstanding job creating intimate (and somehow awesomely awkward vibe) wrapped around
Now it's time for me to keep raving in my head to "Dangerous".