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Editors’ Notes

You might as well tack another X onto the title of the XX's buzz-building debut. After all, it's essentially makeout music for cool kids; steely quiet-storm soundscapes that redefine R&B for a generation that loves Aaliyah and the post-everything productions of Timbaland as much as freshly-pressed Hot Chip singles and faded Cure LPs. Since they're all barely 20, the four South Londoners in the XX are those kind of kids, yet their music speaks to all of us via torch-song tales of love and longing, as chased with smoke ring synths, billowing beats, skeletal basslines, and guitar riffs that ripple more than a pond that's been pounded by rocks. It's addictive stuff, to say the least — a simple but satisfying album that rewards repeat listens and makes for brilliant background music. Not too hard; not too soft … just the XX, doing their thing as the entire blogosphere looks on with baited breath and erratic pulse rates.

Customer Reviews

Probably the best debut this year...

This debut is exceptional for a heap of reasons. First, it doesn't overstay its welcome- each track is short and sweet, in the best possible way. Second, it's beautifully sparse- each track is carefully constructed so as not to become an earful of noise. Third, it gets better on repeat listens. Fourth, although they both don't have traditionally spectacular voices, lead singer Romy Madley Croft and bassist Oliver Sim have voices that perfectly complement the music, and each other. Fifth, their sound is original. The result? A superb album.

The best album i've bought in years.

This album has stolen every minute in my car since i dowloaded it. Each track is so perfectly constructed and paced. I really recommend a listen to anyone that likes good music.

hmm, step back, smell the hype

An OK album, but this is seriously not the aural smorgasbord that some of the reviewers would have you believe (come on Gen Y, get critical). Very samey, little depth, it's a marketer's dream but not mine.


Formed: London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Atmospheric English indie pop group the xx formed in London in 2008 around the talents of Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim, Baria Qureshi, and Jamie Smith, when the bandmembers were still in high school. Captivating and cool, the group cites influences that run the gamut from R&B (Aaliyah and Rihanna) to classic alternative rock (the Cure and the Pixies). Built around the duel vocals of Croft and Sim, the group's signature brand of moody, soulful indie rock first appeared on the public radar in early...
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