Review: The Colour in Anything by James Blake

The Colour in Anything by James BlakeJames Blake doesn’t really have much to prove. Sure, the sound that he helped pioneer is everywhere now – not just from contemporaries such as Låpsley, but also in pop stars like Justin Bieber – but in his first two albums he made his sound seem ahead of its time no matter when you listen to it. The Colour in Anything, his third album, runs in the same lane: everything feels deliberate, every element put in its right place – no happy accidents – and yet there’s a sense of chaos, like not everything is well. Perhaps also helping is the help from new collaborators, with Frank Ocean and Justin Vernon co-writing some tracks – the latter’s contributions, “I Need A Forest Fire” and “Meet You In The Maze”, are high points in the album – plus production work from Rick Rubin. That said, why does the album have to run for over an hour and a quarter? His last two records barely reach the 45-minute mark and its impact is still strong. Here, he went long and risked the impact being dulled, especially with a bunch of five-minute tracks closing the record. I don’t know what can be removed, but I think it could be shorter and nothing will disappear. [NB]4/5

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