16 – James Blake – The Colour In Anything (Universal Music)
The curse of the Mercury Prize. You know how it goes. Whoever wins is confined to a cellar for the rest of their career, never to be seen again. This is James Blake’s first album since he bagged the award in 2013. Uh oh. Down you go, Blakey, into the darkness.
Getting a more famous Blake to do his cover of The Colour In Anything was a smart move. Yep, this is work of Quentin. Although James still sounds like an adorably sulky teenager, he's fattened up his sound. He even worked with Rick ‘Def Jam’ Rubin on the production.
Which is the key, really, It’s never all about the voice for me. Listen to the urgent ringing alarm that slices Radio Silence (listen below) in two. The shattered shakes of Modern Soul’s percussion. The fuzzed brass of Timeless. There’s more going on with post-Mercury Blakey. If he is confined to a cellar of obscurity, he’s sure making a lot of lovely sound.
Scroll all of the best 2016 electronic albums by clicking here.