The xx, ‘Angels’ – Song Review
It was worth the wait. With breath bated, palpated hearts and pimples goosed, we have yearned for the xx to give us new music. They have. And ‘Angels’ is everything that we hoped for.
The too-short 3:22 begins with their trademark slow burn of distant guitars, soon joined by Romy Madley-Croft’s whispered poetics: “Light reflects from your shadows / Tt is more than I thought could exist.” When typed out, it’s a little much, but in her restraint each syllable is an instrument.
With ‘Angels,’ the London band echoes the same heard-through-the-door intimacy of its self-titled debut — the one that landed the xx at the top of many 2009 best-of lists. The music is profound in its simplicity, powerfully evoking the pangs of romance found and lost: When the instrumentation drops out, leaving Madley-Croft to gently torque lo-ve, lo-ve, love, all knees within hearing distance will be weakened.
But, as the song itself goes, “The end comes too soon / Like dreaming of angels / And leaving without them.” Thankfully, it’s not too long until the angels return: the xx’s sophomore album, ‘Echoes,’ drops on Sept. 11.
Listen to the xx, ‘Angels’