Londoner James Blake’s debut LP of soul-infused dubstep is an icy, shattered and detached record.
It’s all about deceit, betrayal, limits and loss — the story of a loving man whose veins have run dry, frozen solid by the chill of sacrifice. The album charts the transformation from man to machine, detailed by scattershot electronics, R&B harmonies and heavily affected hums of auto-tune.
It’s also the most emotional, believable and touching record released in recent memory.
Blake specializes in a fascinating dichotomy of glacial electronic and classic soul music — a truly original representation of the internal struggle.
His brief, brutally repetitive lyrics fail to become bothersome. “My brother and my sister don’t speak to me, but I don’t blame them,” he croons some 20-plus times over the course of “I Never Learnt To Share,” each time sounding more and more defeated.
James Blake is not just a record for dubstep fans, it’s a record for anyone who has ever doubted their own humanity.
DOWNLOAD: “The Wilhelm Scream”