James Blake Album Review

James Blake’s second album Overgrown was released on the 8th April having reached #1 in the iTunes Electronic Album chart with the pre-order.

Described as “eponymous, virtuosic and genre-bending” this latest offering branches out from his previous album drawing on a wide range of influences and styles.  Blake’s music has been classed as “post-dubstep” and on tracks like Life Round Here we can definitely hear some urban hip-hop flavours. Aside from this Blake’s classical background and soul music inspirations come forward and present themselves with a warm vocal display, beautiful chords and tonal shifts in many of the tracks.  His subtle and self-aware use of vocal sampling and auto tune give a sensitive vibe.

Favourite tracks:


I Am Sold is piano-based at the start, then switches halfway through to a bass-fuelled drum beat, accompanied throughout by wailing vocals through crackling static.


Voyeur also changes halfway through from romantic piano melodies to disco house beats with the introduction of a cow bell.  This is quite different from what many of us are used to hearing from the artist.


His successful single Retrograde makes easy listening because of the underlying soul track and haunting vocals.


Some of the tracks on Overgrown seem to be almost trance-inspired.  The final song Our Love Comes Back makes use of techno sounds to accomany the piano tune.

With the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z and Stevie Wonder rating this album, it is 100% worth the listen.  Each time it offers something new.

James Blake is making his second appearance at Coachella this weekend on Sunday 21st April and is currently touring the US.

Words by Joelle Thurston