The First Great Album of 2011 (Maybe a bit premature)

I’ll be the first to admit I let this guy slip under my radar in 2010. I’d heard some of the buzz, but never really gave him much thought, aside from a few casual listens to the Klavierwerke EP. But then a week or so ago, I got my first listen to his self-titled debut LP and it. blew. me. away. Everyone talks about his use of silence, and it really cannot be touched on enough, he uses the emptiness around us like a true instrument. And the vocals, part Justin Vernon, part Antony Hegarty, part Burial, part auto-tune Kanye, but when it all boils down to it, are a unique wonder. The guy is in his early 20s and he’s displaying intense maturity and vision over there in London. 2010 was a monster year for Blake, with his The Bells Sketch/Klavierwerke/ and CMYK EPs all nearing the top of many music blogs’ year-end lists, but look for 2011 to be the year in which James Blake becomes a musician, and not a tennis player.

“CMYK” one of the standouts of his young discography.

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