“Doesn’t it get much clearer?”
A love affair leaps and melts, clinging like licks on lips, and then curt like closed mouths. Its genesis is obliteration. Its absence, whether liberating or apocalyptic, still transforms us. Its history is written in the artifacts its apostles leave behind.
“Doesn’t it seem connected?”
If you could hold it in your hands, would you keep it? Where would be safe enough? A locked drawer in a living room desk? A shed in the corner of your parents’ yard in Jersey? Would you bury it in the ground?
The trick is that you can’t hold it in your hands, can’t raise it up to your eyes and scrutinize it rationally, reasonably. All you have is hot choler and kisses, moments of oversaturated sensations. It’s hard to nail down. Why would you want to nail it down? How dare you assume form.
“Doesn’t it get you started?”
Assume Form, the fourth album from James Blake, cradles it in baubles and coos, honeys and hums. The love affair is the hearth that forms the center. Relation to another informs every inch of falsetto, every air’s intake and proclamation of devotion. It even starts with a thesis: “I will assume form/ I’ll leave the ether.”
The ether will always be there, and we’ll always be in it, and Assume Form promises formation and corporeality in spite/light of it. Even amid the title track’s spinning clicks of samples and disembodied piano lines, this is James Blake’s art of location and echoes attached to attachment: “I