The xx, ‘I See You’

thexx.jpg

Aidin Vaziri | The xx’s minimalist pop songs changed everything. When the members of the British trio first emerged from their bedrooms as teenagers before the turn of the decade, mixing spare electronic beats with whispery voices and drifting bass, they delivered a fresh sonic palette to follow for everyone from Drake and Beyoncé to Lorde and the Chainsmokers. As its sound has infiltrated the charts, the xx by necessity scrambles the formula with its third album, “I See You,” trading musical desolation for a fuller, more celebratory sound. “Say Something Love” floats on a ray of Beach Boys-infused sunshine, the ballad “Performance” has a sly R&B vibe, and “I Dare You” is a straight-up love song that finds newly engaged singer Romy Madley Croft breathlessly proclaiming, “I’m on a different kind of high/ A rush of blood is not enough/ I need my feelings set on fire.” At its core, as always, the album is driven by her vocal interplay with Oliver Sim and the left-of-center rhythms delivered by producer Jamie Smith — the little signatures that continue to put the band into a different realm.

Advertisements