James Blake ‘Assume Form’: A Review

‘Assume Form’ is James Blake’s latest work and probably one of his most grounded and romantic records to date.

Rolling in with a rich, trickling piano ‘Assume Form’ ticks forward. Blake’s decadent vocals set an intimate yet reclusive tone set the scene nicely for whats to come. The fervent yet delicate strings further interject a more deeper harmonious form.

‘Mile High’ featuring Metro Boomin and Travis Scott marks a heavier, electronic transition, very much suited to Scott’s palate. However, the track still maintains that authentic low-tempo Blake familiarity, as the instrumental flutters like a heartbeat.

‘Tell Them’ featuring Metro Boomin and Moses Sumney is more up-tempo but remains steady with Sumney’s soothing vocals. The darkness of the synth placed beside an airy keyboard keeps the track grounded.

The emotive yet captive acoustics of ‘Into the Red’ intricately blends with Blake’s story of a woman who put herself before everyone else, something to aspire to. The delicate yet pertinent chiming instrumental coincides nicely against the rather strong lyrical tone, creating an impactful overall sound.

‘Barefoot in the Park’ features the beautiful, dreamy sound of ROSALIA. Blake’s husky voice with ROSALIA’s mesmerising tone harmonies into the perfect morning song to wake up to. In essence, the track is very atmospheric particularly with the harp lightly rolling in the background.

‘Can’t Believe the Way We Flow’ paints the simplicity of romance and the easing flow of days co-existing with another. Possessing a surprisingly chaotic sound, the track begins with a high-pitched record tripping which progresses into a more light-hearted sound. Blake’s voice warmly crackles into the spacious instrumental, making you feel like your floating in space.

‘Are You in Love’ quintessentially expresses the waiting game of love amongst its gospel keyboard which fills the void as time quite literally ticks away in the distance.

‘Where’s the Catch?’ injects the lustrous RnB vibes of Andre 3000 to create a soundscape of slight abstraction with a hint of paranoia. This is a song of varying proportions filled which builds imminently from a very simple banjo melody into a suspenseful soundscape.

‘I’ll Come Too’ explores the feeling of wanting to always be by your lover, imitating that ride or die mentally. A suitably dreamy track brought to life by woozy background vocals and an encompassing strings ensemble echoing away into the night sky.

‘Don’t Miss It’ delves into the inner monologue of an egomaniac and the pressures of anxiety. If you like lo-fi music you will love this track, with its eerily contorted piano alongside Blake’s trippy vocals shows this different more unsettling side to Blake that perhaps not many of us are aware of.

‘Lullaby for my Insomniac’ is a song that was literally made to help you get to sleep, according to Blake for Apple Music. The opening synth warms the track up slowly like a flickering golden light bulb. Blake’s silky-smooth vocals put your mind, body and soul at ease. This track just proves that often it’s the simple things that make us the happiest.

Go grab yourself a copy of James Blake’s ‘Assume Form’ here.

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