New Albums: The xx and Plan B

The XX - Coexist
The XX - Coexist

Freddie Matthews writes from London: You may well think it strange to see the way that the English cult indie band The xx write their name but that’s just the way they do it, making them that little bit more individual. The brand new second album, Coexist, was released at the start of September and it still remains in the album chart top 5, having debuted at number 1. 

The xx released their eponymous debut album to critical acclaim. It dealt with themes of love, loneliness and lust. In 2010 they won the Mercury Music Prize for the best album from the UK or Ireland but now it’s time to move on to album number 2. 7/10

Plan B - Ill Manors
Plan B - Ill Manors

New Albums:
Plan B – Ill Manors – OST
Rapper/singer/songwriter/actor and film director Plan B (Real name Ben Drew) is fresh off that back of his previously released album, The Defamation of Strickland Banks, which elevated him to giddy heights of success as the album went on to become one of 2010’s biggest selling albums. Don’t however be lulled into a false sense of security as so many fans have been. It would seem each of Plan B’s three albums to date has had a completely different style, theme and musical direction. His debut album Who Needs Actions When You Got Words, in 2006, to this day remains pretty much unheard of in the mainstream and sold just 60,000 copies. If, however, you’re a scenster from the indie underground you’ll have been all over this debut album as it gained favourable reviews from the alternative music community.
Plan B followed up the debut album with his 2010 concept album The Defamation of Strickland Banks. Lyrically the songs follow a theme of a fictitious tale of one Strickland Banks, a sharp suited British soul singer who finds fame with his bittersweet love songs, only to have it all slip through his fingers when he’s sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. 
Ill Manors has received universal acclaim and was also shortlisted for the 2012 Mercury Music Prize (we still await the winner) but unless you’re a very understanding hip-hop lover I’d steer well clear of this one… unless you’ve seen the film and it actually helps the album to make sense. 5/10 
Top 30 albums as of 01-10-06
 Top 30 albums