An unpublished micro-review written as part of my Top 10 Albums of 2016 list.
Effortlessly swinging between soulful piano ballads and speaker-busting post-dubstep, James Blakes glues it all together on The Colour In Anything with his smooth, emotive voice. Through his natural tone and deconstruction of traditional song-structures, the London-based R&B artist somehow manages to make electronic music that sounds like a live performance, every single time. The album may have been better served by a shorter tracklist, so as to not drown the full-impact of the record’s undeniable classics in a sea of deep-cuts. Still, The Colour In Anything displays mountains of growth over the lackluster sophomore effort, Overgrown, returning once again to the excellence found on his spectacular self-titled debut. And despite the incredibly layered soundscapes Blake has created on this record, this album perhaps shines even brighter in the lyrics printed on the jacket it rests inside. As James himself sings on “Meet You In The Maze,” the album’s closing track, “Music can’t be everything.”