Two months of advance hype boasted how The Xx has undergone a radical re-invention. Yet I See You turns out to be more a successful hybrid, combining the British band’s original cool electronic sound with the happy and human dance beats from Jamie Xx’s 2015 solo album. Meanwhile, the vocal interplay between Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim is still there, but female backup vocalists now augment Croft on tracks like “Lips” and “Performance,” while the electronics are all but abandoned from time to time. Croft has also taken a step beyond her ice-queen persona, a shift that’s bound to earn the band new fans. While the interplay between bass guitar and keyboards continues to represent the classic Xx sound, I See You introduces new and unexpected layers, as though a talkative extrovert had intruded on a chill-down EDM party.
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