Click to return to Dave’s Music Database home page.

Released: August 17, 2009

Rating: 4.200 (average of 4 ratings)

Genre: indie rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Intro
  2. VCR
  3. Crystalised
  4. Islands
  5. Heart Skipped a Beat
  6. Fantasy
  7. Shelter
  8. Basic Space
  9. Infinity
  10. Night Time
  11. Stars

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated --


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 92
peak on U.K. album chart 10

Singles/Hit Songs: *

  • Crystalised (4/27/09) --
  • Basic Space (8/3/09) --
  • Islands (10/26/09) #58 UK
  • VCR (1/24/10) --


Nationwide Mercury Prize – UK award for Album of the Year. Click to go to Mercury site.

The XX
“The Xx unique make-up is an inadvertent second nature marriage of 2009’s urban/guitar tribes, in one corner fluttering new wave indebted reverberation, in the other, plumes of post-dubstep sub-bass and figuratively, their defining core of rich R&B vocal textures.” AZ “Debuts as fully formed and confident as the xx's self-titled first album are rare, but then, there is very little that is typical about this band or their music. Their influences are wide-ranging – traces of post-punk, dream pop, dubstep, indie pop, and R&B pop up at any given moment – but are focused into songs that are as simple as they are unique and mysterious. These tracks are so sleek, they’re practically sculptural, and they boast impeccably groomed arrangements. The beats pulse rather than crash; the guitars are artfully picked and plucked; and the vocals rarely rise above a wistful sigh.” HP

“This restraint and sophistication make the fact that the xx’s members were barely in their twenties when they recorded the album all the more impressive; artists twice their age would be proud to call the maturity and confidence that flow seemingly effortlessly through the xx their own. Even their song titles are the perfect mix of concise and evocative: Stars, Shelter, Night Time (actually, all of their songs could be named this – they’re that intimate and sleepily cool).” HP

“The moody, monochromatic sound the xx sets forth on Intro is lovely enough, but it’s how the band subtly shifts and tweaks it on each track that makes the album truly special. VCR’s innocent guitars hint at the band's fondness for Young Marble Giants’ radically simple indie pop, while Infinity leans more heavily on their post-punk roots, and Heart Skips a Beat underscores its name with wittily fractured rhythms.” HP

“And while singers Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim sound good on their solo turns (Sim particularly shines on the spacious Fantasy), together they’re truly inspired – the aloof sensuality they generate makes romantic intrigue actually intriguing again.” HP “Set amidst a shivering soundscape of beats and plucks, their bedroom-reared concrete-soul” AZ “is one that would’ve dropped-jaws in any decade this century.” AZ

Crystalised might be one of the more intense songs here, but it still carries the confessional quality of a conversation between lovers, reaffirming what ‘heart-to-heart’ really means. The standout Basic Space takes Croft and Sim’s push-pull chemistry in an even more pop direction, but it’s still awash in subtly fascinating details like its exotically rolling beat and Durutti Column-esque guitars.” HP

“While the band’s subtlety and consistency threaten to work against them at times, XX is still a remarkable debut that rewards repeated listens and leaves listeners wanting more.” HP The group “is being justly heralded as the UK’s most original and treasured alt. pop artifact of late.” AZ

Review Source(s):


Basic Space



Click on box above to check out the DMDB on Facebook.

Last updated September 8, 2010.