Review: James Blake – ‘Are You Even Real?’

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Elusive

Another perfect love song from the wondrous singer song-writer

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    10

If you’re a fan of James Blake, you’ll likely know that his latest albumĀ Assume Form (2019) was written about and dedicated to his partner, Jameela Jamil. The album demonstrated his incredible song-writing talents which portray feelings of love better than most other “love songs”.

His newest release ‘Are You Even Real?’ continues this love song theme, and similarly approaches it from a much different angle than most popular artists. Rather than cheesy repetitions, Blake portrays his loving feelings through artistic and elusive lyrics and timbre.

Combining both sweetness and a sense of lustfulness, ‘Are You Even Real?’ is the ultimate love song. Blake sings “late nights I can see the lust in her”, and then later mentions that “she ran her hands through my imagination”. This combination is extremely successful and highlights his incredible song-writing talents, which extend beyond the instrumentals.

The vocals throughout are somewhat elusive, too. Never quite hitting any loud notes in volume, Blake’s voice sounds almost as if it’s fading in and out, somewhere in a dream-like state. The effect this has on the song is immense – it leaves you feeling like you’re floating in a cloud whilst his voice quietly permeates your surroundings.

Alongside Blake’s voice, his choice of timbre enables the single’s unique elusiveness. Using unsettling strings and some perfectly timed synth sounds, ‘Are You Even Real?’ is engulfed in a dream-like mysterious veil, that only Jamil would be able to fully unpick.

As a follow-up to April single ‘You’re Too Precious‘, and with a hint to a new album in the works, this new single is extremely successful and one that everyone should listen to.

‘Are You Even Real?’ is available to listen to now via UMG Recordings.

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Live Editor 2019/20 & second year English student. Can usually be found procrastinating my degree at a gig, or trying (and failing) to complete my Goodreads challenge

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