While I'm more of a fan of James Blake's earlier work (CMYK, I Only Know (What I know), Klavierwerke), I actually didn't mind his recent critically acclaimed vocal-centric self-titled LP. Fans who are familiar with his older stuff know that Blake made a stylistic shift with this album, reaching out to new audiences and in some cases alienating old ones.
One of my favorite tracks off self-titled is the sparse and soulful The Wilhelm Scream. While the song may be one of Blake's more accessible tracks, it still hangs a bit out in left field with its repetitive pensive lyrics and noisy claustrophobic build up. Unsuprisingly, Blake chose this one to perform at the Mercury Awards show last night and at first take I wasn't too thrilled by the performance. But upon watching it again, I realized that it is more a case of bad mixing. The arpeggiated guitar is way too much out in front and the keys/synths are too soft. Some of the effects triggered by the drummer seem to overwhelm the song at parts.
Check it out for yourself below: