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The Spring 2019 Music Room

Featured Album

Think of your favourite love song. Chances are it sounds nothing like Assume Form (Republic Records). The fourth record from British electro iconoclast James Blake features a dozen haunting tracks of jittery samples, minor-key piano melodies and falsetto melodies straying off-key. Whitney Houston this is not. But there’s something tender and honest about Blake’s fragmented form of love. Just one song after he croons a trippy doo-wop ode to effortless romance (“Can’t Believe the Way We Flow”), he’s wondering aloud whether his beau (The Good Place actor Jameela Jamil) loves him back; it feels too good to be true. While Blake has never been coy about his emotions, contented infatuation seems like foreign territory for a songwriter who usually piles on an extra serving of gloom—Blake is the guy Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar call to lend their work an angsty edge. That makes ...

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