Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The xx - Coexist

“Therapy is in love with you as I am” begins “Angels,” the first song from The XX’s sophomore effort, Coexist. For me, my therapy is focusing on why I fell in love with The xx’s debut in the first place.

The spacious atmospherics, the primitive arrangements, and the deadpanned deliveries all captured my heart, and the fact that it sounded nothing like anything else for that point in time were all good reasons to catch my eye.
Now, t
hat eye is beginning to wander as the band has returned with more of the same formula with some fancier window dressing. Coexist is presented with a much more polished blend, incorporating EDM elements (specifically beats) throughout the gloom, in an obvious attempt to garnish more fans to huddle next to their mope while they people watch with contempt at the club.

The socialization is alarming, and it makes me want to go back to my original review and dock a few stars from it. Because I feel like I have been taken for the proverbial ride with Coexist.

Whatever charm and credibility that came from the debut has been lost with The xx’s choice to become the darlings of mope for as many disenchanted youth as they can.

Don’t get me wrong, the desire to become as successful as one can be is not necessarily grounds for termination. But when you’ve created an image of invisibility and a sound that attempts to capture the overwhelming loneliness of youthful hearts breaking, you also develop a commitment to those listeners that the common emotion is real.

And there is the problem with Coexist; I can tell you if these emotions are real or entirely contrived out of a desire for mainstream rewards. Everything is so packaged, produced, and perfected that I don’t doubt for a second that XX can put together 11 songs of personal turmoil any more.  

While their debut seemed like the result of some very harsh years, perfectly reflected through one personally appointed debut. Coexist on the other hand, makes it sound like Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim are part of the image machine to begin with, walking each step of their existence with intentional purpose.

Which makes all of their depressive undertones come off as trite and disingenuous. And with traits like that, coexisting is the last of my thoughts.
Let this review serve as my Dear John letter to The xx.

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