James Blake’s New Album, “Friends That Break Your Heart”

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James Blake In early October, James Blake released his long-awaited album Friends That Break Your HeartThe original release month was September, but, due to Covid-19, the date has been postponed. The record has been released by Republic Record and Polydor Records.

Singer songwriter and producer, James Blake debuted exactly a decade ago with his first album, self-titled James Blake. The new record arrives almost two years after the release of his last record, Assume Form.

The versatility of James Blake

With his versality in songwriting, he created a sort of mystery on the new album. It was in fact hard to imagine the genre(s) it could have explored. In fact, the singer is famous for his musical journey, in which he produces songs with different genres. For example, he produced experimental bases, electronic songs, piano ballad, rap collaborations, …

For his last record, he collaborated with artists as SZA for the song Coming Back and slowthai for Funeral.

The final step of his musical journey

The album is coherent both musically and lyrically. Moreover, James Blake fused his past influences and turned them into his personal genre. This album features sounds similar to those of the previous record, since he maintained the slow-pop song genre. However, an important difference is the theme of the record. While Assume Form was focused on the feeling of love, Friends That Break Your Heart he has a darker overall theme. The twelve songs are about, just to name a few, insecurity, abandonment and regrets. He sings about holding on but wanting to let go, the feeling of changing and the feeling of lost. The singer-songwriter articulates the pain of losing friends and friendships. “it hurts like the end of the world,” he sings on Coming Back.

The single, Say What You Will is very personal and revealing. It goes down the difference between his public persona and his actual feelings. It also is a private analysis about self-worth. The song begins with applause to create a sense of contrast between his public image and the solitude and quietness expressed in the entire record.

Funeral is a central song in the record, despite its simplicity. In fact, James Blake only plays an electric piano as he sings. In this song, the artist begs for forgiveness. “And I know this feeling too well (too well), of being alive at your own funeral. Going: “Don’t give up on me, Please, I’ll be the best I can be”.

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