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Assume Form Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 224 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fourth full-length release for the British electronic producer features guest appearances from André 3000, Metro Boomin, Rosalía, Travis Scott, and Moses Sumney.
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Top Track

Don't Miss It
The world has shut me out If I give everything I'll lose everything Everything is about me I am the most important thing And you really haven't... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. 100
    The good news is that the perma-brilliant James Blake has flooded his fourth album--Assume Form--with euphoric sepia soul and loved-up doo-wop. His trademark intelligence, honesty and pin-drop production remain intact.
  2. 91
    Though Blake’s music has a history of pulling you into a beautiful abyss of moody falsettos and dreary narratives, he had a point. The public’s reasoning behind “sad boy” subscribed to an old-fashioned way of thinking. On his new album Assume Form, Blake abandons that piercing despair--though not his emotional vulnerability--by choosing romance over sorrow. ... Concerned, happy, smitten--no matter the feeling, Blake is still willing to broadcast them all.
  3. Jan 18, 2019
    84
    The collaborators seem to have more influence than they did on Blake's previous albums. There's little here that could be anyone else, but the tone—less heavy, more hopeful, brighter colours—is different, even as he deals directly with despair. Overall, many more things are gained than lost in this development.
  4. Jan 17, 2019
    80
    Assume Form feels like Blake opening out, adding fresh, noticeably brighter colours to his palette. Whether or not a smidge more commerciality turns this album into the kind of hit he was predicted to have at the start of the decade, it is immensely pleasing to witness an artist who seemed to be at a dead end now moving forward.
  5. 75
    Assume Form is at its best, unsurprisingly, when he works at the periphery of his formulae.
  6. Feb 12, 2019
    70
    It’s the first time he’s willingly given up a little of his signature panache in order to achieve a more palatable sound. Still, Blake’s ability to both appease and innovate makes for an always transfixing, if occasionally frustrating, album experience.
  7. Uncut
    Feb 22, 2019
    50
    Attempts to blend leftfield electronica, Broadway balladeering and voguish trap beats are technically impressive but stretch his minimal melodies to [the] breaking point. [Apr 2019, p.26]

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. Jan 18, 2019
    10
    'Assume Form' is a triumphant, crowning glory of James Blake. His pop genius has evolved so much over the course of almost 10 years. From a'Assume Form' is a triumphant, crowning glory of James Blake. His pop genius has evolved so much over the course of almost 10 years. From a distant and chilly first album, he went through the overgrown dark corridors, adding colour as he went along. And now, he is in love, happy. He learned how to share.

    The album is a tight piece of art, produced brilliantly, bearing the signature James Blake approach, but with many twists. His pop sensibilities really shine here and he never gets lost. The only danger for a casual listener is that the more subtle Blake songs get overshadowed by the immense tracks such as 'Can't Believe The Way We Flow', 'Where's The Catch', 'Barefoot in the Park' and 'Mile High'. But it's all there. The Blake of the Distant Past, the Evolved Blake, and the Blake of the Present Love.
    Expand
  2. Jan 18, 2019
    10
    Blake has always been a gifted producer, writer, and vocalist. On this album, however, he combines all three into a palatable package that canBlake has always been a gifted producer, writer, and vocalist. On this album, however, he combines all three into a palatable package that can be enjoyed in any environment. He has somehow managed to broaden his audience while not losing his creativity or personal touch that makes his music so distinct. Blake has the ability to self analyze without seeming jaded while also conveying raw emotion. The only other album that has ever achieved this, while also maintaining such tight production, to my knowledge, is Pet Sounds. And I do not say that lightly. Albums like this don't come out every year, or even every few years. There's only a select few people who could have made an album like this; even fewer actually do. Expand
  3. Jan 18, 2019
    10
    This newest Album of Blake shows a clear departure from his old style in terms of production & themes. It is not as anxiety-riddled asThis newest Album of Blake shows a clear departure from his old style in terms of production & themes. It is not as anxiety-riddled as previous records, and less experimental. It bridges the gap betweeen the James Blake from his Albums & the James Blake featured on pop records like "Stop Trying to Be God". The Title 'Assume Form' is a perfect fit for the project, as James Blake has indeed found himself and presents every facette of his skill & personality on this project. The Movement on the Album from Hard Trap Beats in the Beginning to the minimalist 'Lullaby For My Insomniac' is beautifully excecuted and just leaves one asking 'How can James Blake improve even more??'
    The only flaw on this Album is the missing inclusion of the gorgeous 'If The Car Beside You Moves Ahead' and various Live Performances, which I hope will be released as an Side-Ep or even as a full length Album someday.

    Best Tracks: Can't Believe The Way We Flow, Where's The Catch, I'll Come Too, Don't Miss It, Power On
    Worst Track: /
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  4. May 29, 2019
    8
    Assume Form sets an atmosphere full of love in the air throughout. It has a mix of Pop, R/B, and Trap into all of the songs. Most of theAssume Form sets an atmosphere full of love in the air throughout. It has a mix of Pop, R/B, and Trap into all of the songs. Most of the features are good, such as Travis Scott, Andre 3000, and Rosalia. Best tracks are Where's The Catch?; I'll Come Too; Mile High; Barefoot In The Park; and Into The Red. Expand
  5. Feb 27, 2019
    8
    Although arguably less experimental, this album is a perfect example of an artist comfortably and uniquely adapting their style of music. IAlthough arguably less experimental, this album is a perfect example of an artist comfortably and uniquely adapting their style of music. I see a lot of people looking at this album as if he is slightly selling out for the purpose of more recognition or attention, but this album is just as unique and intricate as his self titled, if not more so. His real fans wouldn't be deterred by an album that beautifully combines his electronic skill and the relevant trends in music today. Every feature on this album accomplishes its task, and not a single one feels forced. James Blake doesn't lose his signature style; he expands it and creates his second best album to date. Expand
  6. Jan 18, 2019
    8
    With Assume Form, Blake moves closer to the accessibility that his peers have moved towards. It's a welcome change, but I can see a lot ofWith Assume Form, Blake moves closer to the accessibility that his peers have moved towards. It's a welcome change, but I can see a lot of fans being deterred by this more direct record. The Travis Scott guest spot is the only weak moment on the album. Expand
  7. Jan 22, 2019
    3
    Contrived. Pretentious. Dull. I think that pretty much covers what went wrong here. The celebrity influence on his music has painted all hisContrived. Pretentious. Dull. I think that pretty much covers what went wrong here. The celebrity influence on his music has painted all his edges grey. This music feels dead on arrival. Expand

See all 22 User Reviews