UK pop phenoms the XX experiment with new colors on I See You | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

UK pop phenoms the XX experiment with new colors on I See You 

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click to enlarge The XX

The XX

Alasdair McLellan

UK alt-pop group the XX have built an empire out of monochromatic, minimalist movements. Their first two albums, 2009’s XX and 2012’s Coexist, both were seemingly capable of moving a mountain with the slightest of nudges, and they so successfully project a sense of intimacy that they’ve almost antithetically become a phenomenon that packs thousands into theaters. On January’s I See You (Young Turks) the XX augment their sound to fit bigger stages in the same way they’ve done everything else—subtly and skillfully. I See You notably bears the influence of In Color, the 2015 pop album by the group’s producer and DJ, Jamie XX. The choppy vocal sample on “On Hold” as well as the skipping percussion on “Dangerous”—reminiscent of the early-aughts underground dubstep scene—add Technicolor splash without threatening the band’s ever-tasteful sparseness.   v

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