xx (album)

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This article is about the xx album. For similarly named albums, see XX (disambiguation).
xx
Studio album by The xx
Released 14 August 2009 (2009-08-14)
Recorded December 2008 – April 2009;
XL Studios, North Kensington, London, England
Genre Indie pop,[1] dream pop[2]
Length 38:34
Label Young Turks
Producer Jamie Smith
The xx chronology
xx
(2009)
Coexist
(2012)
Singles from xx
  1. "Crystalised"
    Released: 27 April 2009 (2009-04-27)[3]
  2. "Basic Space"
    Released: 3 August 2009 (2009-08-03)[4]
  3. "Islands"
    Released: 26 October 2009 (2009-10-26)[5]
  4. "VCR"
    Released: 25 January 2010 (2010-01-25)[6]
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 87/100[7]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[8]
The A.V. Club A[9]
Robert Christgau A[10]
The Daily Telegraph 4/5 stars[11]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[12]
NME 8/10[13]
Pitchfork Media 8.7/10[14]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[15]
Slant Magazine 4.5/5 stars[16]
The Times 4/5 stars[17]

xx is the debut studio album by English indie pop group The xx, released on 14 August 2009 by Young Turks. The self-produced album was recorded at XL Studios in West London between December 2008 and April 2009.

Upon its release, xx received acclaim from music critics, and it was subsequently included in several publications' year-end lists. xx reached number three on the UK Albums Chart and was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). As of September 2012, the album had sold 446,734 copies in the United Kingdom. In 2010, it was awarded the Mercury Prize.

Critical reception[edit]

xx received universal acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 87, based on 25 reviews.[7] Music critics noted elements of post-punk, indie pop and R&B in the album's music.[8][14][16][17][18]

Accolades[edit]

xx rated highly in several publications' lists of the best albums of 2009. It was placed at number two on NME's 2009 albums of the year poll,[19] and won XFM's New Music Award 2010.[20] Fact magazine named xx the best album of 2009 and the fifty-third best album of the 2000–09 decade.[21][22] It ranked fourth on the Chicago Tribune's list of the twenty best albums of 2009.[23] Pitchfork Media listed it as the third best album of 2009.[24] In addition, The Guardian named it as 2009's top album of their Top 50 Critics Poll.[25]

The album won the 2010 Mercury Prize, the annual music prize awarded for the best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland.[26]

Commercial performance[edit]

xx debuted at number thirty-six on the UK Albums Chart, selling 4,180 copies in its first week.[27] The week after the album was announced as one of the nominees for the Mercury Prize on 20 July 2010, it rose from number forty-four to number sixteen with 7,661 copies sold.[28] A week after it won the Mercury Prize on 7 September 2010, the album climbed from number sixteen to its peak position of number three with 28,666 copies sold, representing a 269% week-on-week sales increase.[29] xx was certified platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) on 24 September 2010,[30] and by September 2012, the album had sold 446,734 copies in the UK.[27]

Usage in media[edit]

The song "Intro" was used during NBC's coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games,[31] and the BBC's coverage of the 2010 United Kingdom general election.[32] "Intro" was also featured in the much derided Danske Bank TV ad "A new normal demands New Standards",[33] which received criticism for using Occupy Wall Street imagery.[34][35][36]

It was also sampled by recording artist Rihanna for her song "Drunk on Love", from her 2011 album Talk That Talk.[37]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim, except where noted. All music composed by Madley Croft, Sim, Jamie Smith and Baria Qureshi, except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. "Intro"   2:07
2. "VCR"   2:57
3. "Crystalised"   3:21
4. "Islands"   2:40
5. "Heart Skipped a Beat"   4:02
6. "Fantasy" (lyrics by Sim) 2:38
7. "Shelter" (lyrics by Croft; music by Croft, Sim and Smith) 4:30
8. "Basic Space"   3:08
9. "Infinity"   5:13
10. "Night Time"   3:36
11. "Stars"   4:22

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of xx.[41]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[77] Gold 35,000^
Belgium (BEA)[78] Gold 15,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[79] Gold 40,000^
Germany (BVMI)[80] Gold 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[30] Platinum 446,734[27]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label
Australia[81] 14 August 2009 Young Turks
Germany[82] Young Turks, XL Recordings
Ireland[83] Young Turks
United Kingdom[84] 17 August 2009
France[85] 29 September 2009 XL Recordings
United States[86] 6 October 2009
Japan[39] 9 December 2009 Hostess Entertainment

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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