James Blake has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry recently (e.g. Beyoncé), but Assume Form is a celebration of the English producer’s own talents. It’s easy to get hooked on the sweet falsetto or his unique sense of lyric. Yet Blake is more than just a sad boy singing over his own beats. Sparse trip-hop sections segue seamlessly into full orchestras. Elements of electro-pop and R&B keep the record fun and romantic. He is a musical chameleon of sorts, a skill refined through frequent collaborations, but the musical fingerprints on the record are definitely Blake’s. Standout tracks “Barefoot In The Park,” “Can’t Believe The Way We Flow,” and “Are You In Love?” sit back-to-back-to-back, but be sure to give the full 48-minute album a spin and take in the full effect. Recommended for fans of Radiohead, Bon Iver and Brian Eno.
Sean Schultz is a lifelong musician who enjoys consuming popular culture. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, daughter and two dogs.