xx

Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. It's hard to imagine their music getting much better. But it's not hard to imagine their lives getting much better. Which may be all their music needs.
  2. The xx have made a debut that sounds utterly flawless; it's the kind of album that bands take years to create.
  3. The result is sexy like early Portishead and thoughtful like Young Marble Giants--a perfectly formed debut with a genuinely new sound way beyond the sum of identifiable forebears.
  4. It's a perfectly executed ending for an album whose understated pleasures will surely amount to one of the year's most treasured releases.
  5. The xx recorded not only the year's best debut but also one of its best albums, period.
  6. It's here and it's almost perfect.
  7. For a debut album it's brilliantly realised and contains not an inch of flab across its 11 songs. Debut album of the year? It's beyond doubt.
  8. xx is a fantastically innovative album, and this band is exploring new territory.
  9. Spare, swirling keyboards and gently urgent guitar pluckings anchor this minimalist masterpiece, allowing Romy Madley Croft's plaintive, laudanumlike vocals to tentatively soar above the albumwide ache that is her and Oliver Sim's (e)vocation.
  10. It is so fully formed and thoughtful that it feels like three or four lesser, noisier records should have preceded it. The xx didn't need a gestation period, though xx is nuanced, quiet, and surprising enough that you might.
  11. The album's explication of its own interest in contrast and conversation is perhaps its greatest virtue.
  12. The XX is for lovers and non-lovers alike, though even its surefire appeal I wouldn't call this a pop album. I would deem it sensual, musical in-out.
  13. Uncut
    80
    The finished result occupies land between Young Marble Giants' "Colossal Youth" and Tricky's "Maxinquaye": not the equal of either of those landmark albums, maybe, but certainly cut from the same cloth. [Sep 2009, p.89]
  14. Above all though, xx is a thoroughly cohesive, moving and accessible album.
  15. While the band's subtlety and consistency threaten to work against them at times, XX is still a remarkable debut that rewards repeated listens and leaves listeners wanting more.
  16. As overwrought as the lyrics are, the songs have an attractive, dreamy, atmospheric quality that helps the London band avoid embarrassing teen melancholy. It's also surprisingly hypnotic.
  17. It's strange that such a traditional set-up (drums, bass, keys, guitars, voices) has resulted in one of 2009's most unique debuts.
  18. There is a lightness of touch at play that gives the XX a sophistication beyond their years. It probably means that their dream pop will become the ubiquitous dinner party album du jour.
  19. It's difficult to imagine 'xx' having quite the seismic impact of that opus [Arcade Fire's debut], but the album will win many friends for its beautifully haunting, understated charms.
  20. What happens when you cross Mazzy Star with Sleater Kinney? These boy/girl newcomers have the answer.
  21. Mojo
    80
    The results make for a chilling and captivating experience, with the unexpected musical flourishes in stop-start songs. [Sep 2009, p.104]
  22. It's a gorgeous and dreamy feeling, and one that's easy to spend a lot of time in.
  23. In fairness to the XX, that song was one of Aaliyah's most languorous, its eroticism delivered in small, subtle kicks, but that does little to soften the airlessness of the XX's version. And it's that same fundamental reluctance to engage that suffocates this group's self-titled debut album, which has become a favorite of bloggers and the British.
  24. As it is, with all their knobs set to downbeat, there's something restrained and knowing here that will trouble some newcomers. Still, there's very little on "xx" to suggest this band will end up on the compost heap.
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 320 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 77 out of 88
  2. Negative: 4 out of 88
  1. NickV.
    Jan 20, 2010
    10
    Music these days is in essence utter shit. This is different.
  2. Epita
    Oct 20, 2009
    5
    It often sounds as though Croft's really having to fight herself not to sound like a more polished sort of singer. Normally I like this It often sounds as though Croft's really having to fight herself not to sound like a more polished sort of singer. Normally I like this less contrived approach but the album as a whole left me unimpressed. I've heard this sort of thing done before and done better. Full Review »
  3. NicholasD
    Aug 30, 2009
    3
    I really liked this album a lot the first time i listened to it, unfortunately the more I listen to it the more frustrated I get. Kinda like I really liked this album a lot the first time i listened to it, unfortunately the more I listen to it the more frustrated I get. Kinda like Nouvelle Vague without the excellent covers which leaves you with great voices but nothing earth shatteringly new or spectacular. Coming soon to a coffee or candle shop near you. 10 bucks says my ex-girlfriend is listening to this right now. Full Review »