Image Credit: James Stamler on Unsplash
Acclaimed British singer-songwriter, James Blake, recently released his sixth studio album, Playing Robots Into Heaven. This album, excluding his ambient collection titled ‘Wind Down’ from last year, signals an intriguing shift in his music style.
The idea of Playing Robots Into Heaven was first hinted at in June, with the release of the single ‘Big Hammer’, featuring the Ragga Twins. Blake followed this with another pre-release single, ‘Loading’, in late July.
Blake, in a witty move, posted on social media that he would release a new album if his post received a million likes. Despite the post only gathering a modest 21.1k likes, Blake humorously declared, “I can’t believe we did it,” thus revealing his new album
Many fans and critics are lauding Playing Robots Into Heaven as a return to Blake’s roots. He has swapped the upbeat sounds and live instruments of his previous albums, like Friends That Break Your Heart, for the more melancholic electronics that initially brought him to prominence in the post-dubstep era of the early 2010s.
“Playing Robots Into Heaven shows Blake returning to his roots and embracing the sounds that initially made him a household name in the music industry.”
The album is characterized by a minimalistic approach in terms of collaborations. Joining the Ragga Twins are Pentecostal preacher and gospel musician Pastor T.L. Barrett and the enigmatic hit-maker Starrah. One of the album’s high points includes Blake’s interpolation of Snoop Dogg and Pharrell’s ‘Beautiful’ on his track ‘I Want You To Know’.
Playing Robots Into Heaven marks a new chapter in James Blake’s illustrious music career. Returning to his roots while incorporating new elements, Blake once again proves his ability to transcend musical boundaries.