Overgrown

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Overgrown
Studio album by James Blake
Released 5 April 2013 (2013-04-05)
Recorded 2010–12
Genre Electronica, post-dubstep, alternative R&B, trip hop
Length 39:22
Label ATLAS, A&M, Polydor
Producer James Blake, Brian Eno
James Blake chronology
James Blake
(2011)
Overgrown
(2013)
Singles from Overgrown
  1. "Retrograde"
    Released: 11 February 2013 (2013-02-11)[1]
  2. "Overgrown"
    Released: 10 April 2013 (2013-04-10)
  3. "Life Round Here"
    Released: 13 October 2013 (2013-10-13)

Overgrown is the second studio album by English electronic musician James Blake. It was released on 5 April 2013 by Blake's ATLAS Records, along with A&M Records and Polydor Records. It was supported by lead single "Retrograde" and a series of concert appearances including one at Coachella. Promoted as Blake's most expansive piece of work to date, the album features guest appearances from noted electronic music producer Brian Eno and Grammy Award-winning rapper and producer RZA.[2] Overgrown débuted at number eight on the UK Albums Chart and at number one of the US Dance/Electronic chart, becoming Blake's highest-charting album to date.

On 30 October, Overgrown won the 2013 Mercury Prize, beating favourites Laura Mvula, Disclosure and David Bowie to win .

Background[edit]

Following both the critical and commercial success of Blake's self-titled début album, Blake released both the Enough Thunder and Love What Happened Here EPs. These EPs, noticeably more structured than his previous releases, featured more R&B tinged work as opposed to the experimental electronica found on CMYK. Many reviewers speculated in the year between releases that Blake was headed in the wrong direction, with Pitchfork's Larry Fitzmaurice saying that "James Blake's reliance on piano-based singer/songwriter electro-soul perhaps played it a bit too safe, prompting comparisons to the once-outré, now-gear spinning career of fellow avant-crooner Jamie Lidell".[3]

Blake admitted to Hot Press in an interview about Overgrown that his relationship affected the album. He said, "I can't deny it. There's no point in trying to come up with some other explanation for what I've been writing about... When it happened, I was really struck. Y'know—Suddenly I'm hit!".[4]

Earlier in 2012, Blake spent time with American rapper Kanye West and singer Justin Vernon. Their time spent together is alleged to have affected his album as many of the soul and electronic influences of West and Vernon can be seen in the first single released from Overgrown: "Retrograde". In 2012, after months of speculation, Blake announced a new collaborative non-single release under the moniker Harmonimix. This release featured British rapper Trim and the single "Confidence Boost/Saying" was released on 24 September 2012. It was a return to form for Blake and featured the distinct characteristics present in his previous efforts (Though "Confidence Boost" has been floating around on the internet for three or four years).[5]

During the final weeks of 2012, Blake performed three intimate shows where he débuted five of his new songs, the five being "Our Love Comes Back", "Overgrown", "Retrograde", "To the Last" and "Every Day I Ran."[6][7]

Blake announced via Facebook on 7 February 2013 that his second album, Overgrown, would be released on 8 April.[8] The first single from the album, "Retrograde", was débuted the same day on BBC Radio 1, and was released on 11 February.

In an interview with Oregon Music News on 23 September, Blake described his music as "melodic bass music" and also said that his dub influences extend both to the traditional dub music and garage music.

On 7 March, Blake and his labelmates at 1-800 Dinosaur released both the dub version of "Voyeur" and the album cut of "Digital Lion" featuring Brian Eno.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 82/100[10]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[11]
The A.V. Club A−[12]
Clash 9/10[13]
The Daily Telegraph 4/5 stars[14]
Drowned in Sound 8/10[15]
The Guardian 5/5 stars[16]
musicOMH 4.5/5 stars[17]
NME 8/10[18]
Pitchfork Media 8.0/10[19]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[20]

Overgrown received widespread critical acclaim upon its release. At Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 82, based on 40 reviews, which indicates "universal acclaim".[10] Martyn Young of musicOMH stated that "Overgrown is more diverse and dynamic than before. Blake seems to have found an ideal middle ground between restrained and measured balladry and disorientating electronic soul".[17] This sentiment was echoed by The Guardian '​s Paul MacInnes, who wrote that "Blake's palette is unique, his abilities as a composer are great and quite obviously growing."[16] In a review for Allmusic, Fred Thomas noted that "while it might take listeners a few spins to find the right head space for the album, once they get there, it's an easy place to get lost in." He also stated that "[t]hough the stormy textures and somber reflections are pretty specific to a particular mood, Overgrown finds and fits that mood perfectly."[11] Clash said the album is "paradoxically less fragmented than its illustrious predecessor, ideas rotating core values guided by an affirmatively unseen hand. Which ultimately makes this an even better record."[13]

On 30 October 2013 the album won the Mercury Music Prize Award for album of the year.

Overgrown ranked among the top albums for the year, making it on to many end-of-year lists. According to "Album of the Year," an aggregation website for end of the year album lists, Overgrown is a runner-up for Album of the Year, alongside Neko Case's The Worse Things Get... and Drake's Nothing Was The Same.[21] The lead single, "Retrograde," also won an Ivor Novello Award for "Best Contemporary Song."

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Overgrown"   James Blake Blake 5:00
2. "I Am Sold"   Blake Blake 4:04
3. "Life Round Here"   Blake Blake 3:37
4. "Take a Fall for Me" (featuring RZA) Blake, Robert Diggs Blake 3:33
5. "Retrograde"   Blake Blake 3:43
6. "DLM"   Blake Blake 2:25
7. "Digital Lion"   Blake, Brian Eno, Rob McAndrew Eno 4:45
8. "Voyeur"   Blake Blake 4:17
9. "To the Last"   Blake Blake 4:19
10. "Our Love Comes Back"   Blake Blake 3:39
Total length:
39:22
iTunes bonus tracks[22]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
11. "Every Day I Ran"   Blake Blake 3:24
12. "Retrograde" (music video)     4:03
Total length:
48:09
Japanese edition bonus track[23]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
11. "The Wilhelm Scream" (Live at Pitchfork) James Litherland, Blake Blake 6:01
Total length:
45:23
Double LP vinyl edition[24]
No. Title Writer(s) Side Length
1. "Overgrown"   James Blake I (A) 5:00
2. "I Am Sold"   Blake I (A) 4:04
3. "Life Round Here"   Blake I (B) 3:37
4. "Take a Fall for Me" (featuring RZA) Blake, Robert Diggs I (B) 3:33
5. "Retrograde"   Blake I (B) 3:43
6. "Digital Lion"   Blake, Brian Eno, Rob McAndrew II (A) 4:45
7. "DLM"   Blake II (A) 2:25
8. "Voyeur"   Blake II (B) 4:17
9. "To the Last"   Blake II (B) 4:19
10. "Our Love Comes Back"   Blake II (B) 3:39
Total length:
39:22

Charts and certification[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
United Kingdom (BPI)[53] Silver 60,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label
Australia[54] 5 April 2013 Universal Music
Germany[55]
Ireland[56] ATLAS Recordings, A&M Records,
Polydor Records
United Kingdom[57] 8 April 2013
France[58] Universal Music
Sweden[59]
Italy[60] 9 April 2013
Poland[61]
United States[62] Republic Records
Japan[23] 10 April 2013 Universal Music

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Brian Eno, RZA Guest on James Blake Album". 
  3. ^ "James Blake: Love What Happened Here review". 
  4. ^ ""I fell in love" - James Blake tells Hot Press". 
  5. ^ "Trimbal: "Confidence Boost/Saying"". 
  6. ^ "Watch James Blake Play Two New Songs -- Pitchfork". Pitchfork. 2012-12-05. Retrieved 2012-12-08. 
  7. ^ "James Blake Setlist at Conway Hall, London, England". Setlist.fm. 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2013-04-08. 
  8. ^ "My new album...". James Blake. 2013-02-07. Retrieved 2013-02-07. 
  9. ^ "James Blake -- "Digital Lion"". 
  10. ^ a b "Overgrown – James Blake". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  11. ^ a b "Allmusic review". 
  12. ^ Butler, Will (9 April 2013). "James Blake: Overgrown". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "Clash magazine review". 
  14. ^ McCormick, Neil (31 October 2013). "The Telegraph review". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  15. ^ "James Blake – Overgrown". Drowned in Sound. 
  16. ^ a b MacInnes, Paul (4 April 2013). "The Guardian review". London. 
  17. ^ a b "musicOMH review". 
  18. ^ Horner, Al (8 April 2013). "James Blake – 'Overgrown'". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  19. ^ "Pitchfork Review". 
  20. ^ Rosen, Jody. "Overgrown". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  21. ^ "Best of 2013 - Album of the Year". 
  22. ^ "Overgrown by James Blake". iTunes Store UK. Apple Inc. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  23. ^ a b ジェイムス・ブレイク – オーヴァーグロウン [James Blake – Overgrown] (in Japanese). Universal Music Japan. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
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  25. ^ "James Blake – Overgrown". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  26. ^ "ARIA Dance – Week Commencing 15th April 2013". ARIA Charts. Pandora Archive. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  27. ^ "James Blake – Overgrown" (in German). austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 April 2013. 
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  29. ^ "James Blake – Overgrown" (in French). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  30. ^ "Top Kombiniranih – Tjedan 20. 2013." (in Croatian). Hrvatska Diskografska Udruga. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
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  34. ^ "James Blake, Overgrown" (in German). charts.de. Media Control. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  35. ^ "Official Cyta-IFPI Charts – Top-75 Albums Sales Chart (Εβδομάδα: 17/2013)" (in Greek). IFPI Greece. Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  36. ^ "Top 100 Artist Album, Week Ending 11 April 2013". Chart-Track. Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  37. ^ "Album – Classifica settimanale WK 15 (dal 08-04-2013 al 14-04-2013)" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  38. ^ ジェイムス・ブレイクのアルバム売り上げランキング [James Blake album sales ranking] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  39. ^ "James Blake – Overgrown". charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  40. ^ "James Blake – Overgrown". norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  41. ^ "James Blake – Overgrown". portuguesecharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  42. ^ "2013 Top 40 Scottish Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. 20 April 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  43. ^ 가온차트와 함께하세요 [Gaon Album Chart] (in Korean). Gaon Chart. Retrieved 4 May 2013.  Note: Select "2013년" → "2013.04.21~2013.04.27", then click on the "51–100위" tab below the chart.
  44. ^ "James Blake – Overgrown". spanishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  45. ^ "James Blake – Overgrown". swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  46. ^ "2013 Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. 20 April 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  47. ^ "James Blake – Chart history: Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  48. ^ "James Blake – Chart history: Dance/Electronic Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 18 April 2013. 
  49. ^ "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Top 50 Dance Albums 2013". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  50. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 2013 – Albums" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  51. ^ "Album Top-100 2013" (in Danish). Hitlisten.NU. IFPI Denmark. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  52. ^ "2013 Year-End Charts – Dance/Electronic Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  53. ^ "British album certifications – James Blake – James Blake". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter James Blake in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  54. ^ "James Blake Store – Overgrown". Getmusic. Universal Music Australia. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  55. ^ "James Blake | Overgrown" (in German). Universal Music Germany. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  56. ^ "Blake,james – Overgrown". Tower Records Ireland. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  57. ^ "Overgrown". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  58. ^ "Overgrown – James Blake" (in French). Fnac. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  59. ^ "Overgrown – James Blake" (in Swedish). CDON.se. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  60. ^ "James Blake – Overgrown" (in Italian). Internet Bookshop Italia. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  61. ^ "James Blake – Overgrown" (in Polish). Universal Music Poland. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  62. ^ "James Blake: Overgrown". Republic Records. Retrieved 21 April 2013.