Jamie xx: In Colour review – downbeat dance debut stays on the right side of strange

(Young Turks)

Jamie Smith’s debut solo album comes billed as a vibrant, more playful affair than his work with the xx. This is in some ways accurate – jungle, garage and house influences certainly turn the heat up on the xx’s typically downbeat style – but in other ways is a touch misleading. In defiance of its title, In Colour can at times be murky, minimalist and ghostly, offering up a distant and dislocated take on the last two decades or so of London club culture. There are euphoric moments – when a simple synth line has an illuminatingly transformative effect on Gosh, for instance – but elsewhere there is plenty of dance music here for people whose primary intention isn’t dancing. Tracks featuring bandmates Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim are particularly hushed and intimate. Still, although In Colour flirts with being overly tasteful, it usually manages to stay just the right side of strange – much like the xx themselves.


Tim Jonze

The GuardianTramp

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