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The xx: xx 

With their self-titled debut, Londoners The xx drift through a mire of boy-girl, twentysomething sexual and emotional ruminations via sparse atmospheres and occasionally evolved pop melodies that hide mostly in the shadows. But when it comes to the surface in “VCR,” “Crystalised” and “Basic Space,” their simple, economical songwriting soars far beyond their years. Vocalist Jamie Smith coos her regrets, apologies and desires with spaciousness and allure, leaving plenty of room to roam in every song. Romy Croft delivers deep, ethereal guitar lines that fit perfectly, but he has the voice of a breathy gorilla with a mouthful of marbles and he ruins the moment every time he emotes. It's not enough to kill the record, but in an otherwise perfectly sensual balance he's hard on the ears. (Young Turks) 4 stars out of 5

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