The XX are known to provide the chilled out vibes with minimal production, emotional lyrics and smooth harmonies. On their third studio album they reach towards arena status with a sound some may call “selling out” but others would call adapting and growing. In no ways is this album an attempt to be “mainstream” it’s more to give their live show and discography a new texture and depth. Album opener “Dangerous” is layered by a dance beat with slightly out of place harmonies and it works so well at intriguing the listener. “Say Something Loving” is the albums strongest moment of pure brilliance. It’s a pop ballad that perfectly samples the Alessi Brothers “Do You Feel It” and manages to immolate that euphoric feeling of the moment you fall for someone even though you may question the process. “I say something loving, I can’t hold it inside, the thrill of affection is only getting stronger. I say something loving. All my hesitations are fading, fading. I feel it taking over”. The band continue to get more experimental on the synth saturated “Lips” and the festival ready “On Hold”. But they return to their roots on the more minimalistic production of “Performance”, “Replica” and “Brave For You” which long term fans will instantly appreciate. However it’s the perfect in between “A Violent Noise” which instantly became one my favourite tracks on this album. Oliver’s vocals are really therapeutic, relaxing and bring peace to this track about clearing your thoughts. “You’ve been staying out late trying your best to escape. I hope you find what you’re looking for”. The only issue with this album is that when you listen to it from start to finish the songs begin to blur together towards the third quarter. The final two songs “I Dare you” and “Test Me” are not bad songs, they are just forgettable when compared to the dominating other half of the album. “I See You” see’s The XX tacking a bold experimentation that pays off and rivals the impact that their debut record had. While most of the internet trolls will debate that statement you have to agree that it was a damn good attempt.


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