James Blake is back with his pretty hard to listen to new track ‘Before’. It is a track which takes a new direction, and I have to say its not for me.

It starts with an unconventional progression. Furthermore, it kicks off with a vocal which rises to the top of the surface with a myriad of harmonic sounds accompanying him on the journey.

For me, this is not the type of track I was expecting. I am a massive fan of James and his infectous quality, but this track does nothing for me. So much so, I find it a pretty challenging listen with it not exciting me at any stage despite it providing plenty of unusual sounds and effects. Also, the arrangement is strange, given that it is sounds all over the place. As a result, it sounds like a jam session which accidentally leaked.


I am all for being adventurous but ‘Before’ sounds messy with a direction which unticks all of my boxes. The only part I enjoy is the vocal in the chorus section. But, even that does not grip me enough to believe this track is a breadwinner. Also, the mix is too sharp at times with my speakers rattling even without a subterranean bass being present. Lastly, the elongated high tone at the end is annoying in every sense of the imagination. If I wanted to hear such a nuisance, I would put on some white noise and leave it running for a few moments.

Is it just me who is finding this track anything but good? I have had to listen to it a few times before writing this review, but my opinion did not change, sadly.

You can take a listen to ‘Before’ by James Blake below. Also, be sure to let us know your thoughts to his new release by commenting below.

Emily Harris