Artist: The xx
Format: Vinyl (Spotify)
The xx seemed to appear out of nowhere in 2009 with its self-titled debut album, making minimalism cool in the process.
Somewhere in the smoky haze of simplicity, they housed a groove that was pretty and pretty undeniable. Some credit for that edge lies in the whispery voices of Romy Madley-Croft and Oliver Sim, who never grandstanded above the music.
“Coexist,” issued last year, doesn’t subvert the formula. Pressers state the band embraced a club influence, but it’s hard to find.
For the most part, “Coexist” reads like a collection of tracks left off of “XX.” That has its pluses and minuses – the record opens with an impressive trio in “Angels,” “Chained” and “Fiction,” all of which could be dropped on “XX” and no one would be the wiser.
But too much of “Coexist” fails to show much evolution and, when one’s trade is minimalism, slips rather easily into tediousness.
There are nuggets to be mined from “Coexist,” some as good as “XX’s” “VCR,” “Intro” or “Islands.” But one has to work a little harder to find them this time around.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.