James Blake has truly assumed form on his aptly titled new album, Assume Form. The 12-track album is highly curated in comparison to his past couple albums that include a lone feature among his solo tracks. This time around he’s called in contributions from Andre 3000, Travis Scott, Metro Boomin, Moses Sumney and ROSALIA. The features all sound incredible. Travis Scott croons one of the best R&B performances we’ve heard from him yet. Moses Sumney’s strange vocals prove to be the perfect compliment alongside Blake and Metro Boomin’s skittering drums. ROSALIA brings her Spanish flare for a pleasant duet. And last, but certainly not least, Andre 3000 stuns with his next level appearance.
Assume Form is different from his past albums, but still maintains a signature James Blake sound. At 48 minutes it’s a bit shorter than 2016’s The Colour In Anything that clocked in at an hour and 16 minutes. It’s also a warmer, happier project. While his past solo efforts captured a wintery and somber tone throughout, Assume Form has a more uplifting aura about it.
Blake builds on his strengths, showcasing his irresistible knack for melody while exploring new territory. The album is less piano ballad focused as he displays his continual growth as a producer with more textured soundscapes while experimenting with new sounds. In the past, much of his music has been sad. However, he enters Assume Form while in a relationship and delivers some of his happiest music we’ve heard yet. He even has some songs that sound like love songs opposed to his rainy day ballads we’ve become familiar with. It’s not overly joyous, but he certainly finds the right amount of upbeat happiness like we hear on “Can’t Believe The Way We Flow.”
Assume form is his most accessible solo album to date. James Blake sounds happy, and we’re happy for him. Enjoy!