Albums to watch


The xx


Dream pop / indie rock on the self-produced debut from the London band

ADM rating[?]


Young Turks
UK Release date
  1. 9.0 |   musicOMH

    For a debut album it's brilliantly realised and contains not an inch of flab across its 11 songs. Debut album of the year? It's beyond doubt.
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  2. 9.0 |   The Observer

    Quietly, utterly electrifying.
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  3. 9.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    It could be because they’ve known each other for years, it could be luck that this combination of four people is somehow tuned to one another and can create something so clear, so fluent. It’s pointless speculating about it. It’s here and it’s almost perfect.
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  4. 9.0 |   No Ripcord

    A fantastically innovative album, and this band is exploring new territory. This nocturnal pop is impossibly unique, yet quiet and low-key at the same time. Maybe, though, its best quality is its transience—like the night, it’s beautiful for its duration, and then fades away
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  5. 8.7 |   Pitchfork

    It is so fully formed and thoughtful that it feels like three or four lesser, noisier records should have preceded it. The xx didn't need a gestation period, though xx is nuanced, quiet, and surprising enough that you might
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  6. 8.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    ...the quartet’s subtlety of touch and exceptional restraint prevent a descent into out-and-out dirge, while not losing sight of their angst-inflected roots
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  7. 8.0 |   State

    ...a long way short of the finished article live but in XX they have created a debut that is surely set to be both one of the year’s most anticipated and also its best
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  8. 8.0 |   PopMatters

    More than just one of the best debut albums of the year, it is one of the better albums of the year, period.
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  9. 8.0 |   The Quietus

    The album accomplishes a great deal with relatively few tools: the crystalline keyboards of Baria Qureshi; the Cooderish, Cure-ish, spare guitar of Romy Madley Croft; and the modal bass of Oliver Sim.
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  10. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    There are 11 songs here, all of a piece in their unfussy melodies, serene progress, and a keen sense of spatial awareness when it comes to instrumentation.
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  11. 8.0 |   The List

    Warm and comforting, but somehow distant, xx unfolds into an understated beauty.
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  12. 8.0 |   The Sunday Times

    Conventional — and very near perfect — pop songs … A refreshing and remarkable debut.
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  13. 8.0 |   Daily Telegraph

    One of this year’s most beautiful and original debut albums
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  14. 8.0 |   Independent on Sunday

    Claustrophobic, aural wallpaper of a stylish kind
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  15. 8.0 |   Observer Music Monthly

    There is a lightness of touch at play that gives the XX a sophistication beyond their years. It probably means that their dream pop will become the ubiquitous dinner party album du jour. But really, their panicky atmospherics are too strange for tha
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  16. 8.0 |   Uncut

    Print edition only

  17. 8.0 |   Mojo

    Print edition only

  18. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    You have to wonder just how a bunch of youngsters from south London could have had the time to experience the heartbreaks, aches and misfortunes which inform the lyrical weight of this drop-dead gorgeous dream-pop symphony
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  19. 8.0 |   NME

    The contrast between the reverberating spaces of their stripped-back sound and the almost insular intimacy of the soft, smoky duets is totally delicious. Towards the end, though, that deliciousness can start to become suffocatingly rich.
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  20. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    Will win many friends for its beautifully haunting, understated charms.
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  21. 7.0 |   Rave Magazine

    ...the tone of the songs... doesn’t change much, and while this wall-to-wall breathy detachment can be a bit of a slog, there are enough hooks and melodies here to keep you coming back
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  22. 7.0 |   Click Music

    Exuding nonchalant, fatigued disinterest whilst clearly being the labour of many sleepless nights, the album is guaranteed to gain the band a mention amongst the best new artists of the year
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  23. 7.0 |   The Fly

    This young foursome literally sound like no-one else around
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The xx: XX

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  • 5. Heart Skipped a Beat £0.89
  • 6. Fantasy £0.89
  • 7. Shelter £0.89
  • 8. Basic Space £0.89
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