A&M/Atlas (reviewed digital)
At 22, James Blake is already making significant headway, both as a producer and as a recording artist. His aesthetic juxtaposes two at first seemingly disparate musical styles: dub-step electronica and moody indie pop torch songs. This may annoy those who dislike such variegations. But in Blake’s hands, this amalgam is far more than a one-trick pony. He successfully uses the glitchier elements of dubstep to punctuate the uneasiness of his ballads, using alt-electronica signatures to fascinating expressive effect.
The blurring of stylistic boundaries and layering of “selves” found in the lyrics is well depicted in the video for “Wilhelm Scream,” one of the LP’s most memorable tracks (embed below).