The XX, a group who immediately turned heads and boosted sales the moment they won the Mercury Music Prize in 2010. With their self-titled debut album gaining worldwide critical acclaim, there was always going to be pressure when it came to the follow up album. Coexist will however make most fans of their debut sit down, pay attention and probably enjoy. With little expansion on their sound, some people might sigh on their lack of growth, whilst others might be glad of the fact that they have stuck to their slow methodical indie pop sound which earned them the Mercury Prize.
Album opener ‘Angels’ is the highlight of the entire record. Normally you’d expect an album to open with all guns blazing but ‘Angels’ takes a completely different route, slowly swaying you into the rhythm that Coexist keeps up but never excites. It’s mainly Romy Crofts vocals that draw you in, they’re mesmerising to say the least and her lyrics are so raw that leave you listening for more. Unfortunately there isn’t much more that’s as inspiring. Most of the time Crofts sounds like a stripped back Ellie Goulding, going over the same lyrical concepts it gets so depressing it’s as if she’s watching a litter of kittens being buried alive.
Another struggle you find with The XX is that co vocalist Oliver Sims doesn’t sing with half the elegance or ability as Crofts. It’s noticeable as soon as he chirps up on ‘Chained’. There is a big difference between the two. Still, they manage to gel somewhat well.
If the plan is to go to sleep listening to The XX then you’re alright. If it’s not then you might have trouble as you can’t help but drift off or hit the pause button repeatedly as you find more interesting things to gander at on YouTube and Facebook. With gallons of electro filled empty space Coexist is a record better fitted for an elevator rather than your record collection. The XX are definitely not attention seekers.