In Review: James Blake - 'You're Too Precious'
True to James Blake’s past achievements, ‘You’re Too Precious’, his first new material since 2019’s Assume Form, is an unlikely collection of sounds falling into place in unexpected ways.
Held together with a thread of soft piano parts and gently falling vocal samples, the momentum behind the track is its driving triple rhythm, heralded by a heavy kick and scattered claps. Even in a track more mellow than many on Assume Form, percussive echoes can be heard of Blake’s recent collaborations with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock. Against this background we hear the characteristically chopped up, trembling voice that has become a hallmark of his intricately worked pieces. Distorted vocal lines emerge as if from underwater, as the surreal lyrics come into focus: “I’ll be a bubble / I’ll make myself useful / Dive into diamonds / Scratched and you’re smiling”. Blake has called the track a love song that is about “taking a little bit of someone’s load”.
In his sneak preview of the track , Blake reveals that he recorded the track immediately after waking up at 4am: “I really have gone through all the anxieties that one can go through when it comes to writing music, putting yourself out there and overcoming your ego, and I still do on a daily basis” were his candid words to musicians starting out. Who can argue with that?
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