The XX I See You 2017

Young Turks


I See You is marked by a tonal shift to something close to pure, crisp pop structure, adorned by unusual crescendos that echo a dextrous DJ inching their dancer toward climax without ever quite lifting the house lights. It's lyric sheet moves from the danger and hopelessness of love to it's deliciousness and rapture; a move into a more outward looking proposition. I See You is recognizably still The xx but is now powered by the voluble ambition of it's three perfect counterweights to one another starting to not just realize but harness their full potential. You might even want to think of the decisive move from Joy Divi-sion to New Order here, too. When they take their plum festival slots in 2017, armed with the ten most robust songs of their career, The xx should prick the skin and touch gently the shoulder of an audience reaching to the back of the field.

來自倫敦的青年樂隊The xx,2009年首張專輯《xx》以初生之犢的姿態,拿下歐洲指標性水星音樂獎,隨後幾年間,他們縱橫各大音樂祭與頒獎典禮,第二張專輯《Coexist》擠下The Script、Bob Dylan、Pet Shop Boys空降英國流行專輯榜冠軍,此等天之驕子般的驚人聲勢,以及身處譁眾取寵的當代音樂潮流中,The xx徘徊午夜的極簡低迴旋律鋪陳起的黑灰色階,似乎顯得格格不入,然而吸納著Siouxsie and the Banshees、The Cure、New Order、Cocteau Twins以至Aaliyah音樂養分而來的浪漫聲響,卻敲醒了層層冰雪底層的炙熱,寫盡了這時代人們藏得最深的孤寂。

2014年樂隊靈魂人物Jamie xx首張創作專輯《In Colour》,在The xx失去時空標記的未來場域,投入大量多元聲響取樣的繽紛色澤,讓人預見了The xx的可能性,亦塑造出暌違五年新專輯《I See You》首支單曲〈On Hold〉的蛻變,與Hall & Oates 1981年冠軍曲〈I Can’t Go For That〉交會之際一腳踩進舞池,讓好似被時間消磨了的遺憾,不再那麼難以承受,冬陽灑落的和煦蔓延至〈I Dare You〉與〈Say Something Loving〉,依舊浪漫得執拗。

開場曲〈Dangerous〉強悍bassline與管樂驅策下,揚起了The xx至今最果決、激昂的一回;〈Lips〉取樣自葛萊美提名挪威人聲樂隊Trio Mediæval的脫俗吟唱乘著Tribal Beat悠緩躍動的宜人風景,以及〈Performance〉淒薄弦樂於一片荒蕪中拉扯出的張力,格外令人驚豔;即便〈A Violent Noise〉和〈Brave For You〉回到那個被喧囂遺忘的街角,遇到我們熟悉的The xx,冰冷得暴戾的夢,也相對遼闊輕盈,美得令人屏息。

末曲〈Test Me〉絕望的最後懇求,在一片極簡冰凝的蒼白電氣中持續墜落,一段Alessi Brothers〈Do You Feel It?〉的琴音乍現,對映著取樣了同一首歌的〈Say Something Loving〉,麻木了心,模糊了時空,即使在陽光灑落的地方,The xx依舊以近乎任性的執著,耽溺於懷疑與悔恨的結,最親密的疏離,最炙熱的冷冽,讓人倚著冰牆試圖取暖,距離心一步的位置,目光猶疑試探,卻怎麼也踩不進去的悵然。


1 Dangerous
2 Say Something Loving
3 Lips
4 A Violent Noise
5 Performance
6 Replica
7 Brave for You
8 On Hold
9 I Dare You
10 Test Me

Release Date: 13 Jan 2017