Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. Mar 22, 2011
    100
    James Blake is dubstep's crossover moment, rolling back the hostile skronk and centering on a croon that rivals Antony Hegarty for lovelorn beauty.
  2. Mar 14, 2011
    90
    With not a sound wasted, James Blake is everything we wanted James Blake to make.
  3. Feb 18, 2011
    85
    Blake has managed to create something new, balancing his understated vocals with funky, dub beats, synthesizers and a vocoder.
  4. Feb 18, 2011
    90
    James Blake is an absolute treat for the ears.
  5. Feb 18, 2011
    93
    This is a piece of work that raises the bar for all his contemporaries, and I would not be surprised to see this album at the top of many Best of 2011 lists.
  6. Feb 9, 2011
    90
    Written, arranged, performed and recorded by Blake in his bedroom, the album isn't just a good collection of touching songs, it's a complete world of his own; a mood, a moment, a sound that's uniquely his. Just as a future classic should be.
  7. Feb 9, 2011
    90
    With this new LP -- released on a major label on both sides of the Atlantic, no less -- odds are, a lot of people are going to listen, and I don't mean in the tail-eating, blog-bite-blog sort of way.
  8. 100
    James Blake is an essential for anybody interested in witnessing how pop music can and will continue to change, progress, and grow into something new with time.
  9. Feb 8, 2011
    100
    The highlights here are subtle, but many.
  10. Feb 8, 2011
    90
    His are fragile, beautiful songs floating over warmly alien, sometimes seemingly formless musical structures yet it's an effect borne through unconventional levels of space and patience.
  11. He achieves a lot with a little. He never gives us filler. He continues to innovate. He has provided us with a great album, one that is a sure sign his velocity has not been slowed.
  12. Feb 7, 2011
    90
    The young studio maverick has given us something entirely new, but it's not perfect. It's not an inconsistent album, but it has a few unnecessary fillers. His unrestricted, deconstructed, sparse and minimal productions are unique and he deserves all the hype surrounding him.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 126 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. Feb 9, 2011
    10
    A truly brilliant album. Blake has taken the most distinctive elements of dubstep, stripped them down to their most minimal core, and infusedA truly brilliant album. Blake has taken the most distinctive elements of dubstep, stripped them down to their most minimal core, and infused the result with a soulfulness rarely found in contemporary music. It's beyond words and beyond anything anyone has done, and is undoubtedly the best album of 2011. Full Review »
  2. Feb 19, 2011
    10
    What a brilliant album. The vocals are mature, subtle, toned down, patient. James Blake has really come into his own with this. AbsolutelyWhat a brilliant album. The vocals are mature, subtle, toned down, patient. James Blake has really come into his own with this. Absolutely ground breaking. Full Review »
  3. Apr 3, 2011
    9
    It's ironic that the first full length release from an artist now seen by some as the poster boy of dubstep actually bears very littleIt's ironic that the first full length release from an artist now seen by some as the poster boy of dubstep actually bears very little resemblance to dubstep at all. Rather than the distorted bass usually associated with the genre, Blake seeps his album in an isolated minimalism, fusing elements of soul with icy electronics. The lingering pauses in some of the more introverted songs would grow frustrating if they didn't work so well, as this is an album that exudes loneliness, the theme even extending to the lyrics which are often built from one ambiguous line (Why Don't You Call Me, I Never Learnt to Share). While the uncompromising nature of the record may deter some, in reality this merely focuses attention on the mournful seclusion that serves as the foundation for the album's soundscapes. With such a restricted palette, it's difficult to see how Blake will be able to progress and still retain the uniqueness, but as seen with the sheer level of focus found on this album, he's already broken more ground in one release than some artists could hope to in an entire career. Full Review »