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"Assume Form" James Blake

by Vincent Croce - Staff Photographer
Tue, Feb 5th 2019 04:00 pm

Romance songwriter and performer hailing from the United Kingdom, James Blake has released a brand new album titled “Assume Form.” From experimenting early with dubstep and later writing calm, gloomy songs, James Blake is seasoned with almost every genre, yet “Assume Form” is something entirely different.

James Blake may not be a popular, household artist to everyone, but Blake has worked on and produced music with a multitude of renowned artists. Appearing on “Forward” by Beyoncé, “Godspeed” by Frank Ocean and “King’s Dead” by Kendrick Lamar to name a few, James Blake is a voice many have heard, just not distinguished. 

As a man who takes a “behind the scenes” role in pop culture, his personal work is where he shines. With “Assume Form” being his fourth studio album, Blake has a great portfolio of indie pop ballads and jams. His main hit titled “I Need A Forest Fire” comes off his 2016 album “The Colour In Anything” and features vocals from Justin Vernon or as most know him, Bon Iver. 

James Blake continues with his divergent collaborations beside hip-hop artists on “Assume Form” with appearances from Metro Boomin and Travis Scott on “Mile High,” Moses Sumney on “Tell Them,” Latin pop star, ROSALÍA on “Barefoot In The Park” and André 3000 on “Where’s The Catch?” 

Before the launch of this album, Blake had released singles he had written to build up the hype. “Vincent” was released in 2017, “If The Car Beside You Moves Ahead” in 2018 as well as the only single on the new album, “Don’t Miss It,” which tackles mental health and his self-battle with depression. When that particular single dropped, Blake received a plethora of supportive fan responses considering the dark weight of the song. Blake has always had strong and empowering lyrics, as each song has a theme or message. This premise flows throughout “Assume Form” just as well as in his other work.

“Into the Red” illustrates the bond him and his partner have and how their relationship balances with work and life being thrown into the mix. These are the kinds of songs Blake is known for making; raw feelings transcribed to music so others can feel how he does. 

Blake has this idea as the center of the album; dealing with and celebrating his personal relationships. Blake does not just sing regarding his current relationships, but ones of the past.  “Tell Them” with Moses Sumney and Metro Boomin speaks on one night stands and all that comes with them, as “Power On” speaks on being in a long relationship and that person doing something wrong. 

James Blake is no stranger to piecing together a beautiful song. Whether it be a heavy, beat-driven electronic one or a lullaby piano piece, Blake has the formula to make it affect his growing audience. “Assume Form” has set a new path on blended genres and is a pleasantly different album in a realm of repetitive sounds and styles.