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I See You feels like it couldn't have come at a more opportune time. Romy, Oliver, and an especially potent, blossoming Jamie xx return in confident strides, a triplet of balladeers writing love songs for the most lonesome sunsets. This brightness, a word I'd hesitate to use to describe xx, and this confidence, somewhat lacking from Coexist, I can only equate to a successful incubation period. In Colour's influence is bare and shining on songs like "Say Something Loving" and lead single "On Hold" that carry their weight so elegantly that their samples seem to fill up entire ballrooms and warehouses. "I Dare You" moves in waves, spacious and then massive and then totally quiet, with an absolutely excellent pre-chorus and hook that emulates Arcade Fire's best at a fraction of the volume:

The entire album is filled with moments like this, moments of such simplicity that I can't help but extend some envy toward The xx's cleverness, some degree of being dumbstruck where my jaw slacks and my eyes widen when Oliver and Romy remind me (and each other) that our "mistakes are only chemical." As suggested by the title, it's these reactions and relationships that give The xx substance: relationships between two blips on the radar, two points in space or time, infatuation, heartbreak, and the ever changing dynamic between two lovers. I See You is the ephemeral soundtrack plucking and strumming along all of these invisible heartstrings.

I've been a romantic for so long
All I've ever heard are love songs

Singing oh-oh-oh
Go on, I dare you
I dare you

"I Dare You" 

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