James Blake shocked the music world yesterday when he announced on BBC Radio One with Annie Mac that he was going to release his new long-awaited album The Colour In Anything that night. No waiting around, no long promo campaign with loads of singles and videos, it was happening in just a few hours. Granted there has been talk about this album, previously titled Radio Silence, for some time now, but now the album is out now to download and stream.
The album has only been out for less than a day, so there is still plenty more to unpack with something this long and with as much depth and character of a James Blake record, but upon first listen there are a few things that stand out.
The album stays in the same ambient, moody electronic, R&B crossover lane sonically that one expects from James Blake and instantly recognizes to be him. He feels more mature and stronger as a producer and songwriter, tapping the likes of Rick Rubin to help him on the former, with his layered vocal patterns, echoing percussion and mellow melodies.
The album can drag a little at times, but with how easily the LP flows from start to finish, it is a seamless listen all the way through.
There is one listed feature from Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and songwriting credits from Frank Ocean on the LP. There was originally supposed to a Kanye West verse on "Timeless," but it never materialized. Speaking to Pitchfork, he explained why the verse never came to be and that it may have been for the best.
"I think a huge swath of things happened in his life, and I just stayed out of it," he said. "Eventually, the mood of the album changed, and in the end I don't think it would have fit. But I didn't say I was working with Kanye just so people would get interested-I really wanted him to be on it."
Stream the LP on Spotify and download it on iTunes.
The Colour in Anything Tracklist:
01. Radio Silence
03. Love Me in Whatever Way
06. Put That Away and Talk to Me
07. I Hope My Life (1-800 Mix)
08. Waves Know Shores
09. Choose Me
10. I Need a Forest Fire (feat. Justin Vernon)
11. Noise Above Our Heads
12. The Colour in Anything
13. My Willing Heart
14. Two Men Down
15. Modern Soul
17. Meet You in the Maze