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Album Review: Jamie xx – In Colour


In Colour, Jamie XX’s solo debut album, delivers more danceable tunes than that of The XX’s, Jamie XX’s band, while keeping the simplicity that attracts many audiences who are tired of listening to already abundantly loud and monotonous music. All tracks sound pristine and well produced. Perhaps it is the powerful sounds and synergetic composition that allow In Colour to sound interesting despite its minimalistic composition.

Spacy and unpredictable, In Colour is soothing and comfortable to listen to. Jamie XX utilizes dynamics to build up anticipation. Tight and controlled bass would often come and go while his audience expects and desires more. Jamie XX adds on finer details on top of simple bass, and the tension continues to build up. If In Colour was a person, they would sure play hard to get!

Sounds from In Colour seem simple, but its high detail adds subtle complexities. Sometimes less is more, and In Colour demonstrates exactly that. The only criticism is that if In Colour had any less “colours” in it, it might lose its synergy.  If the compositional aspect of In Colour could be compared to various colours in a painting, how each instrument sounds is the underlying hue to the colour that brings out the brilliance from the painting. Although I enjoyed the composition of In Colour, it is the detail of each sound that allowed me to enjoy In Colour to its fullest.

My favourite tune from In Colour was Seesaw, featuring Jamie’s bandmate Romy. The song is arguably repetitive, but the background details and subtle changes in the song deliver so much emotion. I felt as if I was having a trippy dream that I could only vaguely recollect in the morning.

In Colour’s audience will really feel the music. While the album might not have a focal point, like an insane guitar solo to listen to, it offers a sanctuary for its audience to dive in, lie back, and chill out. The selling point of In Colour is about enjoying the various combinations of pleasant sounds. I would recommend to try and really see the sound of In Colour like the complex colours in a painting, rather solely listening to it.

-Review by Edward Keunuk Shin