With not much difference from their debut album the band is back. The sound hasn't changed and style still the same. The only thing that has change is harmony with the voices the album took a dialogued-language-duet direction.
'Angels', first single, leads all the songs, is the first song and displays what the album is about weak : voices great music. The voices are a bit feeble compared with the work on instruments for example in 'Reunion' has an beautiful tropical-ish sound but the voices are lost and also 'Try' has a great music but the band seems to have not reached the perfect balance like in their first record. 'Sunset' also a good pop-y sound with nice guitars but it has nearly a distracting conversation which is pretty annoying but not as annoying as the sound of horses galloping in 'Missing' that also has the worst vocals in the album.
Sound is stuck in the naughties, but really good, is sort of a wave that came out in the middle of the 00's but never got to explode due to 'emo' and indie rock, the sound of the genre was really good and thankfully The XX is bringing exhibiting out loud. The relaxed beat makes a captivating album, 'Fiction' is the one track that shows very well all this blend, 2004-2008 vibe plus soft and interesting sound.Theres also a clubbing or on-the-way-to-the-club sound surrendering, mostly the end last tracks. 'Tides' makes the dialog better and is pretty good and dance could been better without the building-under-construction sound but is decent. And on the dance theme there's also the theatrical 'Swept Away' which is more Madonna's Confessions On A Dance Floor, a bit dark, dancey and nice baseline with a piano that reminds Clocks by Coldplay.
The really bad thing ,aside not good mixing with the voice, is the way the band tried to connect the songs they're meant to be played continuously, and The XX repeat elements from the end of previous song on the beginning of the song next song, and thats the easy way to make it but is floppy and messy. Another problem is that good songs are like cut off like the dreamy-good sound 'Chained' which also could be a better end to the album than 'Our Song' that has many highs and lows so as the album. Unfortunately they not bringing nothing new.