"Coexist" by The XX.

One of the things I've learned from art is to never taint a quality product with lesser accompaniments. Would you put ketchup on kobe beef? Would you put Daytons on a Maybach? Would you cast Brendan Fraser in a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio? Hopefully, your answer is no to all of the above. I ask you these questions because I feel like music is one area in our lives that we've come to accept artificial ingredients and ungodly amounts of preservatives. In a world where every station is playing Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, and LMFAO (please STFU), it's refreshing to hear bands like The XX who still make it their top priority to deliver quality music that you can feel in your heart everytime you hear it. I've always believed that when you're delivering quality material, be it food, fashion, music, literature, film, whatever the medium, the art speaks for itself. Anything extra should work in unison or support of the main product, never masking or taking away from the star of the show. This is one of the things I love most about The XX and the music that they make; No element is bigger than the others. Intricate minimalism.
I've found that the best way for me to listen to music is while driving; Usually at night, on one of my many trips from Fort Worth to Austin. It gives me time to relax and let the lyrics and the melody permeate my mind without any distractions. From the opening track "Angels" to the closing track "Our Last Song", The XX whisks you away to a foreign landscape, made up of beautiful guitar cords, minimal drum patterns, subtle keyboard tremolos, and two of the most beautiful voices you will ever hear. While most artists have one of, or all of these gifts, what I find most amazing about The XX is the depth to which their lyrics reach into your soul. While most singers/bands have songs in which they're describing a certain person or situation, The XX finds an amazing way to put the situation at hand under a microscope; To dig deeper, if you will, to the cells that makeup the entire ordeal. Very few of their songs rhyme, nor do they follow a basic pattern, and while the topical view of the lyrics in their music may seem very basic, and at times bland, it's the emotion which the words are delivered with that resonates with you. Every song, no matter how short or how minimal it may be, conveys emotions that few artists can do with a canvas so small.

I guess what I love most about The XX is the way that they're able to translate emotions into words so seamlessly. Every lyric, every groan, every sound uttered on "Coexist" carries the weight of a thousand emotions that the listener can feel. With lyrics like "My heart is beating in a different way, been gone such a long time.. I don't feel the same", songs like "Missing" are emotionally taxing; While there are songs like "Angels" lighten up the mood with beautiful words spoken with a puppy love-like adoration that is sure to make you reminisce on moments shared with someone special.

"Coexist" probably cracked my list of top 5 albums of all time, purely off the fact that every track applies to my life. If there was a soundtrack to the emotions that I've experienced in the past year, this would definitely be it. This is the music that everyone has inside of them, extracted and captured in the form of music. This is the music that every artist should strive to make.

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