ALBUM REVIEW: “Coexist” by The xx
The xx’s Romy Madley-Croft, Oliver Sim, and Jamie Smith are back to captivate us again with their hushed soundscape off their sophomore release, Coexist.
The complicated deterioration of love is the central theme that connects each track on Coexist. From the first pangs of realization of a love on its way out on “Angels,” where Madley-Croft lovingly whispers “And everyday, I’m learning about you, the things no one else sees. But the end comes too soon…” Followed closely by the back and forth, opposing views duet of “Chained” with its lovely guitar riffs. “Reunion” is achingly enchanting with its whisper vocals enveloped in steel drums and its driving drum beats. Sims seems to be taking the reins a bit more this time around; he’s been quoted as saying that “club music” was the inspiration for Coexist. It must be some dark underground club where no one really looks you in the eye and everyone sticks to themselves; filled with a sea of bodies in varying states of reserved motion–mirroring the maestro’s of sound before them.
Coexist is so decidedly xx, with its restrained control of vocals, notes, and beats and at first listen, it seems that not much has changed. Even with one less member’s contribution. Yet upon further immersion, one thing is clear, there is a maturity and purity in their sound; a combined confidence in voice, instrument, and production that is hypnotic in its simplicity.