Opening with ‘Once We All Agree’ his voice emerges from a heavy mist of expansive but simple piano and bubbling bass. This is as cinematic as Blake has tried to sound so far with a certain aspect of Fever Ray to it, and something of a post-rock slant. Blake’s voice is clear and unfiltered, something uncommon in his less sparse tracks. ‘We Might Feel Unsound’ continues the atmospherics but the almost sci-fi synth line running through it adds an urgency and claustrophobia. Adding Bon Iver for ‘Fall Boys Choir’ to the mix creates a hard-to-pin-down opinion-dividing song, it’s electronic whoops become somewhat mesmerising until reliably and repeatedly the illusion is shattered by an intrusive drum line, last seen in a Phil Collins b-side. ‘A Case Of You’ is a Joni Mitchell cover delivered with passion, Blake relishing the opportunity to scale it back to just him a piano, the dynamic he says he feels most comfortable of all with. For penultimate track ‘Not Long Now’ Blake returns to the shadowy soundscapes the EP began with but introduces a rising element, the repeated vocals and samples crawling to the crescendo, lending it a similar feel to one of his debut album highlights ‘I Never Learnt To Share’. ‘Enough Thunder’ closes with its title track, which sees him in his favoured position - behind the piano.
If Blake has sacrificed anything for the EP it’s accessibility, but the honesty and clarity in delivery only adds to the experience. ‘Enough Thunder’ represents the clearest vision of one of the UK’s most talented songwriters, with a sincerity and maturity that wouldn’t be lost on a number of his contemporary acts, especially the ‘dubstep’ scene Blake seeks at least to remodel, and possibly to save. The occasional sparseness serves to highlight Blake’s excellent voice, if with just a touch of Anthony & The Johnsons to it, and the rest of the EP contains some of his most dense and lush songs yet. Be it the alluring uneasy mist or the naked vulnerability, if you’re willing to buy into just a fraction of Blake’s unspoken rhetoric and painstaking air, ‘Enough Thunder’ will shower you in its own riches.
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Listen to his rendition of ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ now.
For a pleasant stop-gap release, James Blake delivers.
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