New | James Blake | Retrograde

https://soundcloud.com/lifeandbeats/james-blake-retrograde

‘Retrograde’, the first we’ve heard out of Blake since he announced yesterday that his follow-up ‘Overgrown’ will be out April 8, is an interesting response to this anticipation in a couple of ways. The announcement yesterday, February 7, came exactly two years to the day since the UK release of ‘James Blake’. In that way, taking the sentimentality of the date choice to mean something, Blake might be attempting to hold on to some of the good will that album, a late bloomer outside of Britain, garnered him. As a track title, however, ‘Retrograde’ hints at an inversion of the normal, an adjustment to the expected progression of things. Read together, the album announcement and track title might suggest that Blake is approaching the precipice of something new without wanting to totally abandon the musicality that made his debut such a stunning album. Indeed, while demanding more time to fully distill and appreciate, ‘Retrograde’ strikes me as more soulful and less frequently electronically jarring than his earlier work. There is a warmth to ‘Retrograde’ which was sometimes missing from the often disaffected interior of ‘James Blake’

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