x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Coexist by The xx

The xx never veer far from familiar territory - a place of thinly restrained emotion - on the follow up to their hugely successful 2009 debut album.

The xx
Coexist
XL
****

It's impossible to read about The xx without being reminded about the youthfulness of its members. The three Londoners had only just entered their 20s when their 2009 debut album, xx, hit the shelves, (the record went on to win the UK's Mercury Prize).

But it's not unusual for even younger acts to break through, so why the fascination with this group's immaturity? Perhaps it's because the music they created offered such subtlety and advanced emotional understanding that one couldn't help but be struck by the youthfulness of those making it.

Coexist's opener Angels may be the most delicate thing the group have ever recorded, offering little more than Romy Madley Croft's whispered vocal and distant guitar notes.

Meanwhile, Chained floats over a Burial-like two-step beat, and steel pans lend Reunion a Caribbean glow, but the band never veer far from familiar territory; a place of thinly restrained emotion. Coexist offers few hooks to draw the listener in, but the same could be said of its predecessor. Instead, this follow-up will be adored for the atmosphere it creates; stirring, wintry, but most of all - mature.