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The xx 

Wednesday, Nov 18 2009
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Erasing the gap between industrial postpunk and minimal R&B, England's hotly tipped quartet, the xx, recognizes the power of a riled-up whisper against a nearly blank slate. Factor in hazy keyboards, flickering percussion, and the scanning guitar and bass of singers Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim, and there's a cutting emotional edge to the band's debut, xx. Such standouts as the molasses-paced "Stars" and the taut single "Crystalised" are defined entirely by what the xx withholds, in stark contrast to legions of glutted, histrionic acts operating today.

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Doug Wallen

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