James Blake - James Blake
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 109 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 98 out of 109
  2. Negative: 6 out of 109

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  1. Mar 23, 2011
    9
    This album is lush with minimalism. James allows for some time for his listeners to absorb what they just heard and anticipate what they will hear next, and what I hear next is very good. His music is being compared to The xx and I don't get that comparison too much at all. I didnt' like The xx, and I compare this more to Radiohead. My senses come alive even though the music is often so dense -- dense with gorgeous sounds of silence, music and lyric. This album is a gem and well worth some of your currency. Expand
  2. 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 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. Expand
  3. Oct 26, 2012
    9
    James Blake is unlike any artist I've ever had the pleasure of listening too. He's an experimental, electronic, soul artist that, to me, sounds like Bon Iver if he was an electronic musician. He writes music that is completely original and doesn't stray away from what HE wants, not what anyone else wants or expects from a typical singer-songwriter. His minimalist approach to his style is beautiful, at times extremely haunting. Since I first heard this album, most of the songs have stayed with me. I can't help but continually go back to it. All In All, James Blake's self-titled debut is nothing short of fantastic and it's something that might be a little hard for people to really delve themselves into, but it's intoxicating from start to finish. A- Expand
  4. Feb 9, 2011
    9
    James Blake's new world dubstep is awe-inspiring. This is a new genre, if most aren't already aware of his innovation from "Limit to Your Love," Feist's heart-wrenching love tale about love and it's inevitable extinction. He takes the elements of dubstep, and what we know of it, and fuses soul with latent piano drools. This album may be the best of the year so far, and may be the top of the year as a whole, right alongside Bright Eyes' "The People's Key." Expand
  5. 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 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.
  6. 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. Absolutely ground breaking.
  7. Jun 2, 2011
    10
    This has been the surprise of the year for me. I'll be honest, I heard the album and then the EPs...I still haven't really gotten into the EPs but the album is flawless. It is perfectly simple and its minimalist elements turn out to be its strongest selling points. Stand out tracks to me are "The Wilhelm Scream," "I Never Learnt to Share," "Lindisfare," "Limit to Your Love," and "Why Don't You Call Me." As you see by so many highlights, this album is awesome. The other tracks are great as well but there are my favorites. Expand
  8. Jun 30, 2011
    10
    Immaculate, affecting, addictive. James Blake takes the cake. I Never Learnt to Share is perfect. Lindesfarne II is gourgeous. I'm not sure if the album is greater than the sum of its parts because I can't count that high.
  9. MGP
    Jul 7, 2011
    10
    I love his album. And also his releases with Hemlock. His music sounds deep, making my soul vibrate. I wasn't interesting in electronic music before I listened to him. Now I'm crazy about it!
  10. Jun 3, 2013
    10
    With stark minimal beat, fuses with James' deep soulful voice made his debut album a piece of distinctive record. It has its complexity as an electronic music yet somehow managed to stayed light, like post music in general. A marvel. Highlight tracks: I Never Learnt to Share, Unluck, Limit to Your Love, Wilhelm Scream
  11. Jun 20, 2013
    10
    This album, My favorite of 2011, unlike anything I've heard. Maybe I haven't listened to enough to say that, but James Blake has created such an incredible bridge between soulful singing and wonderful electronics- he should collaborate with other artists more often, his beats would do beyond justice to other's talents.
  12. Dec 27, 2013
    10
    Considered an important moment in the emerging genre, Post-Dubstep, from the time of its release, this debut album from James Blake is absolutely amazing. Though Post-Dubstep is definitely an appropriate label for the album, tracks like "I Mind", "Limit To Your Love" (a cover of a Feist song, by the way), "The Wilhelm Scream", and the short interludes "Why Don't You Call Me" and "Give Me My Month" defy this label and show how wildly experimental James Blake really is. This one is mind-blowing from its brilliant opener, "Unluck", to its soulful finale, "Measurements", and in between contains songs that use the emotional elements of R&B/Soul and the hypnotic qualities of electronic music to its fullest potential. Expand
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. Apr 28, 2011
    80
    Like Portishead, this album may very well achieve background ubiquity, but that should not be allowed to obscure the strangeness and currency of this record. [Mar 2011, p.46]
  2. 75
    An intriguing concept, not always fully realized. [1 Apr 2011, p.77]
  3. Apr 6, 2011
    80
    London singer-songwriter attempts to annex the middle ground between Benga and Anthony Hegarty. [March 2011, p. 96]