User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 275 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 275

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  1. RG
    Sep 7, 2009
    10
    Simply great!
  2. JeffC
    Aug 28, 2009
    10
    Best album I've heard all year. Totally infectious. Has been on repeat for over a week. Love it.
  3. j30
    Nov 27, 2011
    8
    Even though the music feels simple and could be boring, this. vocally driven album cuts deep.
  4. Jul 30, 2012
    5
    It's a bland album for me. The songs sounds boring, and often kind of inexpressive. Romy's voice is not suitable for the lo-fi scene, and the band sure enough sounds like over hyped. At least their songs are well-written, but the melodies and beats are saturated sound among so much strangeness. The metal strings are over produced. Maybe the band can improve musically, but now it soundsIt's a bland album for me. The songs sounds boring, and often kind of inexpressive. Romy's voice is not suitable for the lo-fi scene, and the band sure enough sounds like over hyped. At least their songs are well-written, but the melodies and beats are saturated sound among so much strangeness. The metal strings are over produced. Maybe the band can improve musically, but now it sounds just like nothing outrageous to me. Collapse
  5. NickV.
    Jan 20, 2010
    10
    Music these days is in essence utter shit. This is different.
  6. SteveL.
    Feb 11, 2010
    7
    While this CD is good, it is not as ground breaking or innovative as the critics suggest - I do know, maybe for 19 year olds. There are other low-key indie rock or pop CDs released during 2009 that are better; for example, Bat For Lashes - Two Suns and Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career; also, I recommend the just released Beach House - Teen Dream. Additional better musical investments While this CD is good, it is not as ground breaking or innovative as the critics suggest - I do know, maybe for 19 year olds. There are other low-key indie rock or pop CDs released during 2009 that are better; for example, Bat For Lashes - Two Suns and Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career; also, I recommend the just released Beach House - Teen Dream. Additional better musical investments from 2009 are Girls - Album and Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca. I will keep this xx CD (I do like it) but I am debating whether I will still go see their upcoming sold out Atlanta show - I can get double face value for my ticket! Expand
  7. TeaL.
    Aug 28, 2009
    6
    Good, simple, but overrated. We can expect great things from The XX in the future.
  8. CharlesW.
    Oct 6, 2009
    10
    Soothing, refreshing & simple.
  9. 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 less contrived approach but the album as a whole left me unimpressed. I've heard this sort of thing done before and done better.
  10. 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 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.
  11. SamuelV.
    Mar 15, 2010
    2
    Really boring album. I like only two songs here - 'Intro and' 'Islands'
  12. MikeM.
    Aug 18, 2009
    4
    BORING.
  13. Luke
    Aug 24, 2009
    1
    This is nonsense.
  14. JonathanA
    Sep 24, 2009
    10
    Really surprised by this one. Dark, sensual indierock for the midnight hour. Four, five listens in, and I'm addicted to it. Best debut of 09, and one of the best of the year.
  15. DmitryS.
    Nov 12, 2009
    10
    Best album of 2009, no question about it!
  16. KolT.
    Dec 15, 2009
    10
    My album of the year. Love every song on this record.
  17. Aug 12, 2010
    2
    A really excellent album spoiled by the female vocalist needing to be FAR less contrived, pretentious, and FORCED. Horribly over breathy and "choked up" to the point of extremely annoying. Otherwise, Hugo Largo & Tom Verlaine influences are lovely and sound fresh. A real pity about the terribly overcooked female vocals.
  18. Mike
    Jan 20, 2010
    10
    This is one of the best albums i have ever heard, not trying to recreate just another popular sound. This is in my opinion a groundbreaking album, and a huge breath of fresh air in what seems to be a fastly genre merging music market.
  19. Nick
    Jan 4, 2010
    7
    Putting it simply about this album is all you can do - just a simple, great indie album.
  20. MichalA.
    Mar 8, 2010
    10
    My favorite album of 2009. Sexy, addicting, energetic!
  21. GregT
    Nov 19, 2009
    10
    An extraordinary debut...seamless and seemingly effortless.
  22. ZaneS
    Nov 4, 2009
    9
    By far, the best album I've heard all year. It's absolutely stunning that it's only their debut. The gorgeous, melodic dream pop this young band creates is hard to compare to others. Each song is a pretty as the long. My favorites have to be "VCR," "Heart Skipped a Beat" and "Shelter." But that's only after two listens, so I haven't gotten to known the album By far, the best album I've heard all year. It's absolutely stunning that it's only their debut. The gorgeous, melodic dream pop this young band creates is hard to compare to others. Each song is a pretty as the long. My favorites have to be "VCR," "Heart Skipped a Beat" and "Shelter." But that's only after two listens, so I haven't gotten to known the album thoroughly, but I do know enough that you fall in love even after the first listen. Expand
  23. Scott
    Oct 22, 2009
    8
    When your sound is this sparse and open, the focus goes to the lyrics. while these lyrics aren't bad, I think they could and should be the center piece of the album. in stead I think they hold it back a bit. that being said, I still enjoyed the album and it's among one of the best debut albums I've heard recently.
  24. TobyH
    Oct 27, 2009
    7
    Brilliant most of the time, though it does fade away a little at the end, like most albums this year (apart from Lungs and It's Blitz!). The gloomy and bleak arrangements remind me of Joy Division, but the beats and crazily overused bass give the songs a very modern feel. Indie meets r'n'b! Especially like Islands, Crystalised and Shelter.
  25. JanJ.
    Oct 7, 2009
    10
    Well build up songs, great basslines and super darkish atmosphere!
  26. chris
    Oct 7, 2009
    10
    Amazing, simply amazing.
  27. Pher
    Oct 8, 2009
    9
    Beautiful record!
  28. AlvaroS
    Oct 9, 2009
    10
    The Best album of 2009. And even more brilliant debut than the pains of being pure ate heart also this year¡¡¡¡¡.
  29. JenT
    Oct 9, 2009
    10
    This album is a game-changer. Period.
  30. CoreyB
    Aug 17, 2009
    9
    Excellent debut album; stripped down and sparse, but still absolutely captivating and unique. This will make a lot of critic's top ten lists this year, and it should. The male and female lead singers also complement each other quite nicely; give this one a chance, it may sound a bit boring at first but it's worth the investment to get to know.
  31. MichelleJ
    Aug 17, 2009
    9
    Unbelievable, literally speechless.
  32. RandiT
    Aug 18, 2009
    9
    Love this album. It borrows from many of my favorite sounds (New Wave, Alternative) while also managing to sound fresh and new. What is also astounding is the band members, comprised of 2 men and 2 women, are only 19!!! Check them out.
  33. CarlosD
    Aug 18, 2009
    10
    It's unique, it's elegant and it's just freaking incredible. It's baby making music for people with $300 headphones. The XX's debut stuns on the first listen and just keeps getting better.
  34. discombobulator
    Aug 19, 2009
    8
    I really enjoy the simplicity of the arrangements and the understated tone. So much music just sounds overproduced. Its like a reaciton to all that pop music with vocals treated with that god-awful autotune rubbish. NICE.
  35. KeithW.
    Aug 28, 2009
    10
    Great album, with absolutely no filler at all. Atmospheric and sparse, achieved without being pretentious or unnatural. The duet works extremely well, and the band's music and lyrics reflects its maturity considering their age and their probable experience with music. Amazing.
  36. PB.
    Sep 12, 2009
    9
    It seems simple at first. Repeated listening quickly disabuses you of that conclusion though. "Shelter" first to stay in my head.
  37. Pete
    Sep 27, 2009
    10
    Great album, can't stop listening.
  38. WK.
    Sep 3, 2009
    10
    It's amazing! The Best album 2009!
  39. AlekO.
    Jan 14, 2010
    6
    Maybe I'm the only one here that things like this, but despite the melodies, the relaxing athmosphere it has, this is a very BORING album. I'm a little tired of 'soft' bands, minimalistic music... sometimes less is not more... it's just average.
  40. ElliotM.
    Apr 12, 2010
    9
    An almost perfect album with mesmerising sounds and a brilliant flow. Songs have a lyrical beauty and are mixed to perfection making this one of the greatest début albums ever. Their next album is greatly anticipated.
  41. ACyborg
    Oct 1, 2009
    10
    Strongest impression!!
  42. eli
    Oct 12, 2009
    9
    I discovered this amazing band with this website and I just bought their first record which is simply amazing. They have a particular sound full of rythm but very relaxed at the same time. I highly recommend it!!
  43. BarbaraP
    Dec 1, 2009
    10
    I dare to say that this album is the best of 2009. sexy voices by Romy and Oliver, paused and minimal instruments with a r&b beat. Beautiful!
  44. ZbyszekK.
    Dec 14, 2009
    8
    Yes! I like this album!
  45. Bman
    Oct 30, 2009
    10
    One of my favorite albums this year. There's never been anything quite like it. The mesh of voices over sparse guitars and drum machines creates a dreamy soundscape that keeps you riveted to the closing track. My favorite songs are Intro, Crystallised and Heart Skipped A Beat. Best British debut since Arctic Monkeys.
  46. SeanM.
    Oct 6, 2009
    9
    Brilliant first album, I still cant stop listening to it!!
  47. DevonA.
    Oct 6, 2009
    10
    This is Real Music And Nothing Fake Made Buy Sell Outs, and Absolute Perfection.
  48. OliviaM
    Oct 8, 2009
    9
    I love this album so much. Those soft voices. My word.
  49. BrianM
    Oct 9, 2009
    9
    A really great, and dare I say, sexy album. It has a simple, downbeat sound that is very cool. Nothing too fussy or loud but the grooves on this album are definitely worth checking out,
  50. GregM
    Aug 18, 2009
    10
    I'm in love with this band! Only heard about them last week and have been playing the album EVERY day since!
  51. LuisC.
    Aug 18, 2009
    9
    This is what the crap played on the radio should sound like. It's simple yet creatively satisfying.
  52. TomP
    Aug 23, 2009
    9
    Not saying too much, but this is still certainly the best album I've heard in 2009.
  53. a.nony-mous
    Aug 26, 2009
    8
    Sparse and fragmented musical ideas congeal and then fall apart, leaving in their wake subtle but intricate melodies that only repeated listens will reveal. a very unique open and spacious sound made with very un-unique instruments. an excellent debut album by any standards.
  54. billyb
    Aug 31, 2009
    10
    Stunning Best album of the year so far.
  55. BKC
    Sep 10, 2009
    9
    Great album, very mature sound for the the age of this group. Possibly my favorite album of 2009.
  56. alexg
    Sep 14, 2009
    8
    Good album, but let s not exaggerate things: poor adolescent lyrics and a bit boring.
  57. IdaR.
    Sep 2, 2009
    10
    One of the best albums I have heard all year. Every song is great and they all flow together very well.
  58. PaulT.
    Sep 2, 2009
    10
    Amazing!
  59. MitchellZ.
    Sep 27, 2009
    9
    Wow. This was a true revelation. It grows and grows. the minimal groove, the paired vocals... amazing!
  60. RogerA
    Sep 6, 2009
    10
    A stunning album, fills a niche no other has and is unlikely to be usurped or tired of for the foreseeable future.
  61. TroyP.
    Feb 14, 2010
    10
    I played this record non-stop for weeks after I bought it, and liked it more every time. After a while, it got displaced by new and possibly interesting new releases. But, I keep coming back to xx again and again. Intimate and free-flowing, The XX have made a nearly flawless album, and I can only hope that they have at least one more in them. In any case, this was the record of 2009, hands down.
  62. ThePeewee69
    Mar 11, 2010
    9
    It seems so simple and yet a so complex album. I loved to hear again and again. It has a big flaw: it is a very small album: 7 tracks end so fast that I need to put the album in loop.
  63. BenC.
    Mar 24, 2010
    6
    I completely agree with Alek O. This is yet another example of this longstanding trend of songs without music. It's very slow, very boring and though acceptable as background music while not doing very much, I couldn't listen to it in the car for fear of it putting me to sleep. It gets as high a rating from me as it does because this is an INCREDIBLY well done version of this I completely agree with Alek O. This is yet another example of this longstanding trend of songs without music. It's very slow, very boring and though acceptable as background music while not doing very much, I couldn't listen to it in the car for fear of it putting me to sleep. It gets as high a rating from me as it does because this is an INCREDIBLY well done version of this particular genre, though I disagree with the critics somewhat. I feel like album probably owes more to Beck or The Cowboy Junkies than it does to Portishead. Expand
  64. MikeM
    Oct 13, 2009
    10
    Best debut of the year. Indie classic.
  65. AndyL
    Nov 5, 2009
    10
    For me, the "For Emma, Forever Ago" of 2009. Gorgeous album.
  66. CarolT
    Nov 6, 2009
    9
    Cool!
  67. MycroftW.
    Nov 9, 2009
    9
    If not the best, then definitely the most original album of the year. It's the music Timbaland would make, if he was a bunch of insecure nineteen year old goths from Britain. And I mean that in the best way possible!
  68. KevintheDestroyer
    Dec 12, 2009
    8
    I go back and forth between genius and accidentally incredible. Either way, it's viciously smooth and completely sexy. Great for a rainy weekend or a long morning.
  69. Stevo
    Aug 28, 2009
    9
    Awesome album. I cannot stop listening to "islands". Up there for best album I've heard so far this year along with Animal Collective, the Antlers, and Phoenix.
  70. lucas.
    Sep 17, 2009
    9
    Finally a great album for this sad 2009.
  71. MichaelR.
    Sep 22, 2009
    10
    I have a rule when it comes to buying a bands album. I have to enjoy more than four of thier songs. I was in a frenzy throughout the whole album.
  72. MarkR
    Nov 11, 2009
    4
    Another overrated bore. This record is neither a game changer, nor the best debut of the year. Don't believe the hype. I just don't get what all the fuss is about. The songs are slow and boring. There's no innovation, there's really little of interest going on here. Yawn.
  73. Sep 8, 2010
    9
    Well deserved Mercury Prize.
    I would recommend 'Crystalised', and a hidden gem from the album is actually the intro. 'Heart Skipped A Beat' is also lovely.
  74. Mar 1, 2011
    9
    Completely different from anything I've ever heard. The XX debut's album is simply astonishing. Just so different from **** they have today. Each song is just so catchy. Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim's vocals are like sex. They are THAT good. All In All, The XX's debut album is amazing. A-
  75. Jan 6, 2012
    10
    This album is really, truly and utterly one of the greatest albums of indie rock. It is an album with great compositions, great lyrics. It is an album worth listening to.
  76. Jul 5, 2012
    8
    Good ambient indie guitar record. It's got a very consistent style across the album with all the tracks slipping into each other smoothly. The best thing about this band are that they have a unique and distinctive style and have brought something new to the market. Received great reviews in general, I have to agree for the most part. Only thing I would like is a little more variation inGood ambient indie guitar record. It's got a very consistent style across the album with all the tracks slipping into each other smoothly. The best thing about this band are that they have a unique and distinctive style and have brought something new to the market. Received great reviews in general, I have to agree for the most part. Only thing I would like is a little more variation in the songs and perhaps a couple of more quicker paced tunes. The last third of the record goes at a crawling pace. Having said that the consistent style across the album is probably one of the main things that make it all sound so well put together and well thought out. The record gives a very specific vibe - always reminds me of darkness. It's like being in an empty night club or something. My favourite tracks are "Intro", "Islands" and "Heart Skipped a Beat" Expand
  77. Dec 27, 2011
    10
    Intro, VCR and Islands are the highlights, but all amazing... loved ever minute listening to it, and I would recommend anyone to listen to it, be good to have good headphones since the bass in some of the songs are out of this world!
  78. Jan 27, 2012
    9
    Music unlike most anything I've heard before. Quietly confident, other worldly, spooky. It's too easy to label this as 'atmospheric', but the imagery this music creates is so magical. So easy to listen to, so easy to fall in love with.
  79. Aug 28, 2012
    10
    Esse cd sem duvida alguma é perfeito. Eu ouço ele desde que foi lançado ate hoje ( 3 anos) e ainda me surpreendo. O Novo cd tambem ta excelente e manteve a mesma estrutura!!!
  80. Apr 7, 2012
    8
    The xx have a sound that is very unique compared to other indie rock bands and that is a primary reason this album is so enjoyable. The songs are simple but soothing and overral are a refreshing change to the repetitive dribble of most indie pop bands. I look forward to the xx's follow up album.
  81. Apr 25, 2012
    7
    I really enjoyed this album when it came out a couple years ago, but I wonder whether or not it will stand the test of time. The tone may be a little one color. I get the nagging feeling that if you've heard one XX song, then you've heard them all. That said, "Crystalized" is a downright haunting track. The vocals are impossibly intimate, inviting us into a quiet space between twoI really enjoyed this album when it came out a couple years ago, but I wonder whether or not it will stand the test of time. The tone may be a little one color. I get the nagging feeling that if you've heard one XX song, then you've heard them all. That said, "Crystalized" is a downright haunting track. The vocals are impossibly intimate, inviting us into a quiet space between two lovers. Listen to The XX on those cold winter nights with a good book and a glass of wine. Expand
  82. Oct 25, 2012
    8
    Their music's working best when it's instrumental. I'm not saying their voices are bad but the Intro is the very best song on the whole album and additionally one of the best songs in the year 2009! It's just that their singing isn't necessary. In some songs, yes, but not everywhere. The lyrics are nothing special and especially the woman's voice was importunate to me. But enoughTheir music's working best when it's instrumental. I'm not saying their voices are bad but the Intro is the very best song on the whole album and additionally one of the best songs in the year 2009! It's just that their singing isn't necessary. In some songs, yes, but not everywhere. The lyrics are nothing special and especially the woman's voice was importunate to me. But enough negatives: this album is so recreative and great composed, also if I can only pick three special songs out of them 11. (Intro, Heart Skipped A Beat, Crystalised) Expand
  83. Sep 8, 2012
    7
    Great debut album, however it manages to become dull over time. Coexist is a breath of fresh air for returning fans.
  84. Sep 1, 2013
    10
    This is such a simple album, with such simple instruments, simple singing, and simple drums. But I'll bet the producing wasn't that simple to make it sound like it does now. How can something so simple be so good?

    Now one of my favorite bands, I can't stop listening to the xx. That's another thing: their music doesn't get boring for me, I can't listen to it over and over and never get
    This is such a simple album, with such simple instruments, simple singing, and simple drums. But I'll bet the producing wasn't that simple to make it sound like it does now. How can something so simple be so good?

    Now one of my favorite bands, I can't stop listening to the xx. That's another thing: their music doesn't get boring for me, I can't listen to it over and over and never get tired.

    A must-listen.
    Expand
  85. Aug 7, 2014
    9
    What makes this album so special is not its songs themselves, nor its lyrics or voices, nor even its instrumentation, but its special common, yet original rhythm and structure. The perfect example that (at times) less is more; way more.
  86. Feb 16, 2014
    8
    The XX's debut is a soft, beautiful and generally very, very good debut for a band that obviously aren't there to make loads of noise that the common band might do. This is an album that comes at its most enjoyable when played in the evening.
  87. Aug 5, 2014
    9
    This record redefined pop.
    It is intimate, soft, elegant and moving.
    Its minimal style is what will become the unique characteristic of The XX and it's what will make you love this album.
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 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.
  3. The album's explication of its own interest in contrast and conversation is perhaps its greatest virtue.