James Blake Overgrown

Overgrown

James Blake

Released on April 8, 2013 by Polydor Records

Main artist: James Blake

Genre: Electro

Distinctions: 4F de Télérama (April 2013) - Lauréat du Mercury Prize (July 2013)

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Album : 1 disk - 10 tracks Total length : 00:39:25

  1. 1 Overgrown

    Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Blake, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Programmer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Ben Assiter, Drums, AssociatedPerformer Copyright : ℗ 2013 Polydor Ltd. (UK)

  2. 2 I Am Sold

    Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Blake, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Programmer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist Copyright : ℗ 2013 Polydor Ltd. (UK)

  3. 3 Life Round Here

    Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Blake, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Programmer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist Copyright : ℗ 2013 Polydor Ltd. (UK)

  4. 4 Take A Fall For Me

    Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Blake, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Programmer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - RZA, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist Copyright : ℗ 2013 Polydor Ltd. (UK)

  5. 5 Retrograde

    Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Blake, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Programmer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist Copyright : ℗ 2013 Polydor Ltd. (UK)

  6. 6 DLM

    Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Blake, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Programmer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist Copyright : ℗ 2013 Polydor Ltd. (UK)

  7. 7 Digital Lion

    Brian Eno, ComposerLyricist - Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Blake, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Programmer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Rob McAndrew, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist Copyright : ℗ 2013 Polydor Ltd. (UK)

  8. 8 Voyeur

    Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Blake, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Programmer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist Copyright : ℗ 2013 Polydor Ltd. (UK)

  9. 9 To The Last

    Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Blake, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Programmer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist Copyright : ℗ 2013 Polydor Ltd. (UK)

  10. 10 Our Love Comes Back

    Matt Colton, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Blake, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Programmer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist Copyright : ℗ 2013 Polydor Ltd. (UK)

About

With his 2011 debut full-length, dubstep-via-fractured R&B producer James Blake delivered on the promise of his earlier singles while at the same time overhauling his sound, moving away somewhat from the sample-heavy dubstep of those tracks to a sparser atmosphere. The album focused more on Blake's equally haunted piano and vocal lines, submerged elements of implied rhythms, dubstep's subsonic bass resonance, and ghostly samples to create a picture of restraint and contained emotional upheaval. The album felt not so much like the calm before the storm, but like silently watching a hurricane slowly and soundlessly move closer from the distance. Sophomore album Overgrown offers a similar feeling, but Blake approaches the songs here with even more restraint and a subtly deconstructed take on pop. Subtlety is perhaps Blake's greatest attribute on Overgrown, with what could even be the album's heaviest moments blurring into a pleasantly melancholy whole through deft production choices. Take for instance "Take a Fall for Me," a partially rhythm-less track featuring Wu-Tang's RZA in an extended set of rhymes over a looping sample of static and processed backing vocals, and samples that recall Tricky's earliest work. The jagged edges of a track like this could render it awkward with more obvious production, but Blake's touch pushes even RZA's toughest verses into a rainy, lamenting place. The skeletal piano of the debut returns on tracks like "DLM" or the gorgeous album-closer "Our Love Comes Back," which has the faintest hints of Chet Baker's springtime loneliness buried in Blake's mumbling blue-eyed R&B vocals. Brian Eno even shows up to collaborate on the sputtering rhythms of "Digital Lion," perhaps the most hyperactive track here, though only in relative terms. Somewhere between the vacant echoes of dub and trip-hop, dubstep's sample-slicing production, and the contained heartbreak of a singer/songwriter playing piano to himself in an empty room, Blake has crafted Overgrown. It's understated to the point of invisibility at times, with Blake subtracting even himself from the songs, allowing the lead vocals or hooks to be consumed by the song at large. Though the stormy textures and somber reflections are pretty specific to a particular mood, Overgrown finds and fits that mood perfectly. While it might take listeners a few spins to find the right head space for the album, once they get there, it's an easy place to get lost in. ~ Fred Thomas

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