James Blake
James Blake

Universal / Polydor

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A TAV Essential Listening Album.

"James Blake" is the debut studio album by London-based electronic music producer James Blake.
In interviews about the album, Blake cited fellow Londoners the xx as an influence, telling Clash's Robin Murray their success with debut xx "made it a lot easier for me". He added that the band's ac-claim meant listeners "are gonna be a lot less shocked by [this album]".

Blake, speaking to Jo Youle and Mark Savage of the BBC, said that a lot of the vocals on the album were by him, despite relying more heavily on samples in previous work. "There are times when it might seem there's a sample being used, but I've just sampled myself. That's what makes this record special compared to everything [else] I've done."

Grayson Currin of Pitchfork noted that the album is "composed of tender torch songs, elegiac drift-ers, and soulful melodies, Blake's first puts him in the rare company of fellow singers-- Thom Yorke, Karin Dreijer, Antony Hegarty, Justin Vernon, Dan Bejar-- who've recently bent their own lavish voic-es, not samples, to make interesting pop music shaped with electronics". Blake has evidently done this with many tracks on the album. - Wiki

“Sharing Burial’s interest in dubstep’s nether regions and How to Dress Well’s reverse-engineered R&B, his debut album is striking and singular, largely built around Blake’s voice, with watery piano and scratchy rhythms adding rickety, bare-bones structure. Auto-Tune and copious reverb can’t hide Blake’s emo leanings, but there’s real pathos in lines like, “My brother and my sister don’t speak to me,” and there’s even more in the way he eats syllables with a shrug (“…but I don’t blame ‘em”). His harmonies are to die for — gospel by way of D’Angelo and Jamie Lidell, with a twinge of acid house’s alien overtones.

Nearly half the album’s tracks are less than three minutes long, and Blake doesn’t subscribe to dance music’s futurist mandate: Two songs for piano and voice are as much Elton John as Brian Eno. Using lo-fi digital techniques to play up rough edges and raw emotion, Blake’s rare talent is to make music so naked seem unshakable.” – Spin

“U.K. dance music subgenres don't usually produce soulful singer-songwriters – there was no Marvin Gaye of grime, no Bill Withers of Balearic house. But in James Blake, the squish-grooved London club throb called dubstep just got its very own emotive song stylist. Blake uses neosoul keyboards, blip beats and layered snips of his heart-starved warbling to create softly roiling slow jams. Like Radiohead, Blake's sonic empty spaces highlight ­human distance: His cover of Feist's "Limit to Your Love" dangles lyrics about a dying relationship above trip-hop fizz, and when he does inch toward happiness on "Wilhelm Scream," he makes finding true love sound like entering a void. "All that I know is I'm falling," he sings over a swirl of black digitalia. Yep, falling right into the mystic.” – Rolling Stone

Item description:


James Blake


James Blake


Universal / Polydor


2 × Vinyl, LP, Album



Release Date:



Electronica, Soul


Leftfield, Dubstep, Male Vocals

Catalog No:

B0015443 01