U.K. dance music subgenres don't usually produce soulful singer-songwriters – there was no Marvin Gaye of grime, no Bill Withers of Balearic house. But in James Blake, the squish-grooved London club throb called dubstep just got its very own emotive song stylist. Blake uses neosoul keyboards, blip beats and layered snips of his heart-starved warbling to create softly roiling slow jams. Like Radiohead, Blake's sonic empty spaces highlight human distance: His cover of Feist's "Limit to Your Love" dangles lyrics about a dying relationship above trip-hop fizz, and when he does inch toward happiness on "Wilhelm Scream," he makes finding true love sound like entering a void. "All that I know is I'm falling," he sings over a swirl of black digitalia. Yep, falling right into the mystic.
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