English musician James Blake's fascination with entwined genres comes to a dramatic head on his cover of Feist's Limit To Your Love, which begins as an acoustic piano ballad before unravelling into stark, body-quaking electronic minimalism. Unfortunately it's also the only instance on his debut LP when the lyrics match the music's visceral appeal.
Blake's songs are built around a single typically melancholic lyric and melody that he works over, kind of like an R&B singer, while gradually switching stylistic gears. On Lindesfarne I and Lindesfarne II, for example, he goes from vocoder a cappella to sparse beats to acoustic warmth.
As the album progresses, the effect is less compelling. Devoid of effects, echoes or electronic eeriness, his quivering timbre is exposed as maudlin, his lyrics trite. Wilting lines like "My brother and my sister don't speak to me, but I don't blame them" fail to gain momentum through reiteration.
Top track: Limit To Your Love