After winning the Mercury Prize in 2013 with his spectualar sophomore album 'Overgrown', James Blake became more of a personality than a producer. Taking over a monthly residency on BBC Radio 1, he quickly became known as the artist that would drop surprises on you, whether it be from his own catalogue or others. So as another surprise, James Blake has now released his third studio album 'The Colour In Anything' (which is even a surprise in itself as he'd been calling it 'Radio Silence' for the months prior).
But while all the unexpected gems are a nice gimmick, the album itself is far from a publicity stunt. Much like his previous works, 'The Colour In Anything' looks to create a hauntingly beautiful soundscape of experimental directions and lucid intentions. Although some of this material has been previewed in the last few weeks, hearing it all together allows you to really feel this record as it breathes from one track to the next, creating a cohesive yet subdued release that would be seen as rebellious if it wasn't so calming.
James Blake is one of those artists that can be seen as both different and the same as many others. Like a Schrodinger's producer, Blake is both a creative muse that seeks new inspirations while ultimately sounding almost identical from album to album. Either way, this surprise was certainly happily received.