The Albums of 2011 – #9 James Blake – James Blake
Hey you, remember the Great James Blake Media Frenzy of January 2011? Yea sure you do – you’d forgotten it was this year though, hadn’t you? It certainly seems like an awful long time ago. For those of you that managed to black it out, James Blake went from relative unknown to media tedia pretty much overnight when the BBC announced he was was one of the mooted “Sounds of 2011” alongside such esteemed luminaries as Jessie J and The Vaccines. If you don’t believe me, you can check the list HERE.
Anyway, as is often the case with over-exposure in a media hungry, ADD-afflicted hype-mongering society, inevitably everyone decided they’d had enough of him by about lunchtime on the first day back at work after Christmas. It wasn’t his fault, stop jabbing him with that pointy stick.
Blake’s debut was heralded by the bass-heavy Feist cover of “Limit To Your Love” which in itself prompted several hundred fatuous newspaper articles about “post dubstep,” often accompanied with a picture of him in trademark checked shirt, voluminous hair, and slightly awkward mournful stare .
So far, so blase, the only problem being that his album really is an excellent, awe-inspiring work of ethereal beauty that sounds not so much as a debut as the work of an ageing musical veteran who just happens to have had enough of “all that verse bridge chorus malarkey.”
Who am I kidding – if you decided you dislike him, it’s not going to be me who changes your mind. Still, try and watch this video and tell me you’re not moved by its simplistic grace, fragile vocals, and haunting, subtle escalation.
You’re not? Ah well, can’t say I didnt try.
Oh yes, by the way.. Musically quite different but thematically quite similar was Korallreven’s “An Album by Korallreven” which I’d also heartily reccommend. Unfortunately it didn’t quite make this Top Ten List though. Despite that, you can listen to a tune of theirs HERE .
Please come back at the same time tomorrow to see my pick for Album #8 of 2011. Here’s a clue, it’s not Jessie J OR The Vaccines
The Clockwork Shorts 2011 retrospective can be browsed for your pleasure right HERE</p