Overgrown - James Blake
Overgrown Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 40 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 126 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second release for the British electronic artist includes a track produced by Brian Eno and another track with RZA as a guest performer.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
  1. 100
    In 1996, The Fugees set the whole urban blues thing in motion with The Score. With a work of such stark emotional beauty, Blake has picked up the torch once again with Overgrown.
  2. Apr 9, 2013
    90
    While it might take listeners a few spins to find the right head space for the album, once they get there, it's an easy place to get lost in.
  3. While James Blake felt aloof, even ahuman, Overgrown is packed with feeling, and releases it with the smallest of gestures.
  4. Apr 4, 2013
    80
    Far more than with his first album Overgrown is focused upon his songwriting rather than his technology, and it’s much stronger for it.
  5. It’s not an easy listen, but it may just be one of the most nuanced, soothing and adventurous of 2013.
  6. Apr 11, 2013
    70
    In a strange mistake of sequencing, Blake frontloads Overgrown with its least interesting material.
  7. Apr 12, 2013
    40
    The object of his lamentations is conveniently out of reach, hence the constant cat-and-mouse game between enunciation and melisma. When Blake sees fit to loop a phrase or attempt a chorus, the undertaking breaks down under its own weight.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Jan 29, 2014
    10
    holy crap. James Blake really out did himself on this one. Absolutely amazing, loved how he is able to take simple melodies and evolve them into something grandiose. Expand
  2. Apr 9, 2013
    10
    The great James Blake is back. An immediate love at first-listen. Smooth, soulful, raw and R&B in it, Overgrown is by far the best in the making this year so far. Expand
  3. Apr 16, 2014
    10
    A near perfect electronic soul album, James Blake again redefines the way that soul and electronic can be mixed with a whole new set of tracks that only further his lead as music's best indie producer. Songs like "Overgrown" and "Our Love Comes Back" showcase an emboldened Blake with forefronted vocals and stronger, more fleshed out production. As opposed to his previous album, Blake revels in the analog nature of his instrumentation, with lush strings, wicked basslines and other natural sounds that only serve to beautifully contrast the wonky synths and abstract percussion that his debut had in spades. This album is more than just another notch in the growing catalogue of meaningful electronic music, it's a watershed moment--one that will hopefully have lasting reverberations throughout the music community. Expand
  4. N10
    Apr 9, 2013
    10
    Well everything I wrote just.. got lost. Well what I can say about this album is that Jame's Blake has clearly stepped up his game with "Overgrown". As an artist he's obviously growing, as a singer/song-writer he's more confident. Great production, catchy melodies and well written songs. More smooth, more Soul/R&B to it. Might not be as experimental or "out there" as his predecessor, but this record sure is he's most unique and gorgeous one to listen too. 10 tracks around fourty minutes, not so long, but those fourty minutes are pure beauty. Right from the first listen I fell in love with this. An amazing album. James Blake's best album to date and my favourite of 2013 so far. Expand
  5. Sep 1, 2013
    10
    Oh good Lord the soul crushing beauty of the tracks 'Overgrown' and 'Retrograde' are enough to earn this album a space in the Top Ten Albums of the Year on their own. Thankfully though they are nestled in a dark, glistening concoction of yet more of Blake's soul oozing masterpieces. 'Overgrown' sounds like a journey underground. You never know where you're gonna surface or how deep you're going to go. Blake steers you through the labyrinth of his creation, depositing you reluctantly back in real life at the end of it. 'Digital Lion' has been played on my iPod multiple times daily since it's release. Expand
  6. Jun 16, 2013
    9
    Normally the term "a real grower" is provided for an excuse for unnecessarily complex, disappointing material. However, it is the most appropriate description for an album that is a real masterstroke of finding the middle ground. Blake takes all of the pop sensibilities that made 'Limit To Your Love' so catchy and 'A Case Of You' so mesmerising and combines them with his wildly adventurous production to create a record that is both beautiful and aggressive. 'Retrograde' is a perfect example of Blake's timid singing voice being combined with the sort of maximalist Post-Dubstep brilliance that gained him such notoriety amongst underground bass music's most influential labels' rosters. He's made an album that both factions of his deservedly extensive fan base will learn to love the Radio 1 crowd, and the bass connoisseurs and this is a master stroke worth praising. It is a privilege to watch him continue to forge a surely celebrated career. Expand
  7. Apr 22, 2013
    5
    This is a rather odd album. From the snippets, I wasn't expecting it to be so electronic based. Turns out that James Blake is actually quite into experimenting with dubstep and various electronic arrangements. Problem is, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. The tracks Life Round Here, Digital Lion and Voyeur were examples of how it was rather grating, but the other 8 tracks are much more appealing, although I struggled to find anything that was better than "ok." Collapse

See all 20 User Reviews