Is James Blake an Angel?
I like to think so. The strange blend of dub step and emotionally complex vocals makes him one of my favorite artists of all time. Last year he released an album that was a departure from his original electronic style, to a genuine emotional “box of pain” vocal work. This skinny, hipster from England is some strange hybrid of Johnny Cash and Aretha Franklin, his booming powerful voice evokes pain from some place real not unlike his peer Bon Iver. These two have created outlandish sounds that I can’t help but love. The bleeps and bops in his music contrast his deeply emotional voice like a Cohen Brothers dark comedy. I don’t know why it works but it just does. Blake covers Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” with a music video starring Rebecca Hall and both actor and singer explore the emotional spectrum of a relationship that I can’t stop watching or thinking about or humming constantly. It’s not easy to introduce him to my friends. Pretty hit or miss. But when it’s a hit it becomes an obsession with the most unlikely characters, and the person who showed him to me (gotta give cred where cred is due) is a small town Indiana guy who likes fishing. You don’t know who’s soul James Blake will touch, but if you are looking for some musically induced emotional stimulation Jame Blake is your guy without a doubt. And no, he is not the famous tennis player James Blake. And yes, he is an angel.