When James Blake released his debut LP, many wondered how his two very different styles could co-exist. Would Blake's R&B-inflected singer/songwriter mode jive with his earlier work as a dubstep wunderkind? Well, "Digital Lion," Blake's new collaboration with none other than electronic music titan Brian Eno, is the strongest suggestion yet that Blake has no intention of keeping his musical selves separate.
"Digital Lion" starts with a quietly pulsing beat that would have been right at home on his first LP, before a drop so delicate that you will wonder if it even happened at all. At about the midway point, Blake's voice is joined by tension-building synths, which, at the track's narrative high point, cut out completely leaving a lone snare echoing in cavernous space. It's a moment so beautifully orchestrated by Eno and Blake that it'll cause goosebumps listen after listen. Though each movement is subtle, as the track reaches its groaning, syncopated conclusion, one has to wonder how these two can pull everything off so effortlessly. "Digital Lion" is the sound of two perfectionists reaching their goal.
James Blake –– Overgrown