The release of James Blake’s new album, Assume Form, has spurred considerable excitement and it certainly lives up to all its expectations. With his no-nonsense attitude towards toxic masculinity, public refusal to be labelled a ‘sad boy’ and his unique use of texture, Blake has proved himself, time and again, to be the existentialist to watch.
His previous album, The Colour In Anything, is one of sadness and despair, so the clarity and control throughout Assume Form are almost like breathing a slow-motion sigh of relief. Opening with simple piano flourishes, the titular track epitomises this perfectly. Lyrics such as “Doesn’t it get much clearer?” and “Doesn’t it seem much warmer?” demonstrate Blake’s clearer mindset and victory against a depressive period following his previous album – something he has been known to put largely down to his new partner, actor Jameela Jamil.
To @jameelajamil I love you and you are the reason this album exists, but now everyone else has it, so I’ll see you at home in 30 mins and we can talk shit about everyone.
— James Blake (@jamesblake) January 19, 2019
The essence of his adoration for Jamil can be felt throughout, whether it is in what is possibly his best ballad yet ‘Into The Red’, or the outstandingly soothing ‘Lullaby For My Insomniac’ – it is possibly one of the most beautiful collections of love songs to have been released for a while. Blake manages to create something completely contrasting to anything he has done before, whilst keeping his trademark, high-quality production style, honey-like vocals, and poetic outlook on trials and tribulations of life and love.
As the title of the album would suggest, it appears that he has finally come to a conclusion on who he is as a person, as well as a musician, and I could not be more here for it.
Header image via Amanda Charchian