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James Blake’s The Colour In Anything is an album that grows on you. The first listen takes you by surprise with its experimental sounds and diverse musicality. Amongst the 17 tracks there are several that take unexpected turns; some that pause for a moment to become completely electronic, others that strip it back to simply a vocalist with one or two other instruments. With profound lyrics, spectacular piano and heart wrenching vocals, this is an album that makes you stop and listen.

‘Radio Silence’ opens the album with syncopated vocals, buzzing effects and painfully emotive lyrics. ‘Love Me In Whatever Way’ is one of my favourite songs, drawing back to the feel of ‘Retrograde’; melodic verse, building up and then breaking your heart. ‘Points’ is unexpected in its sound and takes you by surprise. I enjoyed ‘Timeless’ for the intensity of its slightly off-key melodies.

‘f.o.r.e.v.e.r’ is a breath of fresh air, stripped back and broken down it provides some relief from the intensity of the earlier tracks. ‘Waves Know Shores’ is clever in its simplicity, with vocals and trumpets working in harmony and repetition in the lyrics.

I immensely enjoyed ‘My Willing Heart’ for it’s smooth jazz feel. ‘I Need a Forest Fire’ featuring Bon Iver was spectacular in the way that the sounds of the two artists complemented one another and meshed so well. The title track ‘The Colour In Anything’ is soothing and peaceful, written with Frank Ocean and Rick Rubin.

‘Modern Soul’ brings it back to that classic James Blake feel. ‘Meet you in the Maze’ is a somber and ambient track to finish on. Leaving the listener in a restful and pensive mood.

In The Colour In Anything James Blake has pursued the full range of his musicality, going down every path that he could possibly explore. The end result is an album for quiet contemplation, to mellow out to. It’s quality is almost meditative and you can truly immerse yourself in the sounds.

James Blake will be touring Australia this July for Splendour In The Grass and subsequent sideshows.

Rating: ★★★☆

Get yourself a copy of James Blake’s new album now via his official website.

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author: Alexandra Milne

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