It took three years to get a sophomore album out of the English indie pop group The xx, but it was certainly worth the wait. The four-year-old band has shed some of its pop beats to create Coexist, a sensual, slow and stripped-down album.
“Angels” is the first track and first single on the album, a song consisting primarily of vocalist/guitarist Romy Madley Croft’s vocals and almost nothing else.
Co-vocalist and bassist Oliver Sim gets his turn in the second track “Chained” as he begins a duet with Madley Croft. The vocals remain soft but the song picks up some pace and features something of a drum beat. Their voices just sound right together, like the two are laying in bed late at night, talking in low whispers and exchanging secrets.
And that is how the rest of the album goes. The lyrics tend to be vague and secretive yet literal, becoming more relatable that way, which has been a huge factor in fans being drawn to The xx. Lyrics such as, “My heart is beating in a different way / Been gone such a long time and I feel the same,” in the song “Missing” leaves room for you to contemplate your sadness in about 10 different ways.
The last track “Our Song” ends the album perfectly, “All I have, I will give to you / And at times when no one wants to / I will give you me / And we’ll be us.”
Coexist is so stripped it’s hard to give it an A+. While pleasing to the ear, Jamie xx’s creative beats are missed. Cry to it, fall asleep to it, or just listen to it for good measure.