Monday, May 9, 2016

@blobtower "to be like Aaron Neville, AND [Aphex] Twin?:" British Crooner James Blake Surprise Releases Third Album, The Colour In Anything (Polydor & 1-800 Dinosaur)

"So proud of my brother James Blake dropping the bigness tonight... Also, so proud of our song ["I Need a] Forest Fire" came from wonderful accidents and good friendship... James, or Jim as I call him when I'm upset with him, is such a powerful musician; to be like Aaron Neville, AND Aphex [Twin]?" Bon Iver frontman and frequent James Blake collaborator Justin Vernon (@blobtower) exuberantly Tweeted on the eve of The Colour In Anything. Vernon and Blake previously collaborated on "Fall Creek Boys Choir" from mid-album Enough Thunder EP, although likely first rubbed shoulders due to this singular candid statement: "He's James Blake. Just go listen to his music and say, "hey, that's Kanye's favorite artist." Justin Vernon contributed crooned backing vocals assists to "MONSTER" and the majority of Kanye's sprawling magnum opus, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, as well as a number of fractured Death Grips-inspired Yeezus compositions; while James Blake told a number of publications between 2013-16 that he in fact longed to nab Mr. West for an album feature on his then-titled Radio Silence, which eventually morphed into The Colour In Anything, sadly sans Kanye's long-rumored rapped verse on "Timeless." Side note: one of the greatest, albeit non-musical, aspects of The Colour In Anything hands down has to be its beautiful, mood-enducing sketched cover artwork (seen above) designed by long-time Roald Dahl illustrator Sir Quentin Blake.

Blake has grown leaps and bounds as a singer-songwriter, producer, and collaborator during the three-year span since Overgrown– having worked alongside the likes of BeyoncĂ©, Drake, Grime emcee Trim, Vince Staples, legendary "reducer" Rick Rubin, and former Odd Future crooner and co-writer Frank Ocean. While I haven't ideally had the adequate time I would like to sit with, digest, and dissect The Colour In Anything (due in part, to its inavailability on one particular streaming platform), James Blake's surprise released album has however, received the coveted "stamp of approval" from my beautiful girlfriend, with whom I generally share all of my Hip-Hop. She seemingly enjoyed "I Need a Forest Fire" and Blake's 2010-11 Indie Rock press-rattling "Limit to Your Love," but noticeably enjoyed them even more once she realized he was a handsome British lad, rather than an R. Kelly-esque R&B crooner! James Blake's self-described "bigger in scope and a byproduct of a lot of change and growing up" third album, The Colour In Anything is currently available for purchase and streaming from Spotify, Apples Music, Amazon Prime, and numerous digital platforms. Polydor Records and its stateside subsidiary, Universal Music Group have yet to announce a physical release, to the best of my knowledge, although a CD-LP distribution only seems imminent in this day and age.

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