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"At the very beginning of the year, an artist and his debut album was geared to set the musical world alight. Music journalists went crazy, and a whole new audience was introduced to the 21 year old composer and producer, James Blake. Of course there was the inevitable minor waves of backlash from the music snobs as well as devout fans who had been following James Blake since his first 12" on Hemlock. Some people like the music they like to remain their own little secret - esotericism in its ugliest (although understandable) incarnation.

If you minus the media circus and their seemingly strong opinions on the matter, you have something very special. Admittedly, it is hard now to hear the album with virgin ears. However, all the signs are there...

The album finally delivered to the world is really not very different at all from the vocal demos that leaked on the Electronic Explorations podcast more than a year and a half ago. Before the talks of 'Album of the Year'; before 'CMYK', before the major labels stepped in and 'stole' the boy-wonder of post-dubstep...

His voice is sincere in its imperfection, often wavering and struggling at crucial moments. Sometimes this is far more beautiful to hear than a perfectly sung note (Jamie Woon fans, take note). The click and stop recording sounds unashamedly puncture whole songs. There is no mistaking what you have when you do finally listen with impartial ears. You have an album that oddly sounds as close to D'angelo, Bon Iver, and traditional gospel music as it does to Mount Kimbie and Mala. You have bedroom productions made with no pretension, despite all the pretensions that have since been assigned to it by others."

Words by Raj Chaudhuri