After hearing the mesmerizing single Retrograde by James Blake I had to do some investigating. His soulful and almost cinematic sound drew me in and I wanted to see what else the artist had released. Here’s what I found out: Blake is 25, British, has two official albums, and is receiving acclaim from critics as well as industry leaders such as Bon Iver and Kanye West on his work so far. He’s even got the media powerhouse BBC backing his work.
The album that Retrograde is featured on, is titled Overgrown. As an album, Overgrown has strong R&B and soulful influences mixed with dramatic cinematic effects and heavy beats. The combination makes for a highly emotional narrative. My favorite tracks are Life Round Here, Take a Fall For Me, and Retrograde. The track Retrograde is definitely the standout of the album in my opinion. This song appears in the middle of the song listing and brings the album to a peak. This song is one of the most commanding points of the album and the sound mellows out in the songs that come afterwards.
I love the way that it feels like a true journey in the sense that he takes you up and brings you back down with the pace of the album. It seems that one thing that the fans of Blake have in common is that everyone seems to comment on the potent sense of emotion that is displayed through his rich vocals, and I must say they are telling the truth. After listening to this album I felt as though Blake put a piece of his soul into it. His songs aren’t written frivolously, you can tell that he is genuine in his artistry and it works.
I am loving the many British electronic artists who are hitting the music industry with power. The genre is finally coming to the main waves of music. Electronic artists taking over these days. Blake is a welcome addition to artists that I follow.