James Blake, Assume Form
by Caitlin McFarlane & Alba Lopes Da Silva
James Blake’s fourth studio album Assume Form is an atmospherically gloomy adventure which wholly captures its listeners’ attention. Blake’s sentimentality shines through its minimalistic, R&B- like tracks and touchingly vulnerable lyrics – the British singer peels up the layers and fully opens up to reveal his innermost thoughts. Romance, love, anxiety are all themes he perfectly touches upon to create a moody vibe, which is, despite the themes, easy to listen to.
‘Now I'm confiding, know I'm in haze, going through the motions my whole life’. In the first track ‘Assume Form’ the genuine rawness with which Blake sings about what people imagine depression must be like – this strange, alien feeling of just being lost – is both haunting and touching. ‘Don’t Miss it’, is a wake-up call for people to stop fixating on details or on what might go wrong, and to finally enjoy life. It discusses the effects anxiety had on his life; as aspect easily relatable with.
Yet, Blake’s album also tackles romantic themes like in his track ‘Can’t Believe the Way We Flow’. The simple ease he feels with his girlfriend makes us all want to finally find someone to make it feel like the days are just going by. But, in order to make a relationship feel like an easy breeze, ‘to coexist so easily’ as Blake sings in ‘Power On’, you sometimes have to be the bigger person and swallow your ego – being in a relationship is a lot of work for both parties.
From the onset, this album assumes the form of a dark and haunting vibe. Yet, as you listen, there’s much more to it than its somber aesthetic: It is an album that mixes complicated and contradictory emotions to create the perfect picture of the singer’s mind.