THE XX'S 'ENTICING' SOPHOMORE ALBUM AND OTHER RX CD RECOMMENDATIONS

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The success of The xx lies in the firmness with which its songs are built. On the trio’s sophomore record, Coexist, British wunderkind producer Jamie Smith is like a mad scientist creating swirling, house-tinged beats. He throws sharp steel drums next to wobbles that rumble so loudly they engulf headphones, or he makes synthesizer screeches so guttural that they could be mistaken for a wild animal’s cry. This recipe—although chaotic and even at times jarring—acts as Coexists guiding light. The xx’s self-titled debut illustrated the effectiveness of an empty sound, unafraid to lure the listener in by accenting gaps between delicately drawn soundscapes. Coexist presents a version of The xx that listeners will recognize, but cleans everything up a bit, subtly stretching and improving the formula that won acclaim. These songs are danceable, but—like the rest of the band’s body of work—would also be the ideal soundtrack for lying on the floor of a dark room and making out.The A.V. Club

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