Soundcheck: The xx – Coexist
By Mykel Vernon-Sembach
When The xx opened up with “Intro” on their self-titled release, the simple rhythmic guitar became an overwhelming beginning to an album that completely dominated both its own genre along with additional genres (Exhibit A: Rihanna’s “Drunk On Love” samples “Intro” as its harmony.)
When The xx opened up with “Angels” on their second release, Coexist, it was a disappointment, to say the least. Unless releasing the worst track as a single is some new publicity technique, front duo Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim made a mistake even placing it on the album.
This starts looking up by “Chained” and “Fiction,” but immediately goes back to sleep when “Try” comes up. The xx’s producer, Jamie Smith, explained in an interview late last year that the group was aiming for a sound inspired by “club music.” Not sure what club music they were listening to, but with the exception of a few tracks, Coexist would put most clubs comatose.
Fortunately, they managed to make some tracks like “Reunion” and “Sunset,” both which provide a good prequel to an evening of Top 40s and copious amounts of overpriced liquor. Yet, these tracks try extremely hard when it comes to establishing rhythm (something Baria Qureshi did very well before she left the band permanently).
Coexist is a lame excuse for The xx as an album and because of its mediocrity, falls from alt-indie grace for the time being.
Best Tracks: “Reunion,” “Sunset”