James Blake was a remarkable success story last year. The Brit stormed the Internet with the release of two critically acclaimed EPs and managed to place as the runner-up in the BBC's Sound of England poll that highlights up-and-coming English musicians.
That means the pressure was on for his recently released self-titled debut LP and, thankfully, Blake provided. From the soothing opening seconds of "Unluck" to the soulful concluding piece "Measurements," Blake creates an entirely unique musical experience.
A standout is the Feist cover of "Limit To Your Love." The song is more of a total reimagining than a cover. Blake strips it down to the bare minimum and then slowly rebuilds with buzzing bass, haunting vocals and tantalizing piano. Another strong point is "Wilhelm Scream," an atmospheric song filled with uncertainty and regret. Blake again uses the elements which worked so well on "Limit To Your Love," but the result is entirely unique.
Though these songs are definitely high points, it doesn't mean that the rest of the album is inherently inferior. James Blake has created a collection of remarkable songs and he finds success over and over and over again.