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James Blake - Assume Form (2019) Published: January 18/19 Released: January 18/19 albumElectronic12 Tracks • 48 Minutes
TRACKWAVE SCORE
The percentage of professional music reviewers who liked this. Above 75% is gold. ?
88%
    SELECTED LINE: It is immensely pleasing to witness an artist who seemed to be at a dead end now moving forward. -The Guardian
    Preview
    1. Assume Form4:49
    2. Mile High (feat. Metro Boomin & Travis Scott)3:13
    3. Tell Them (feat. Metro Boomin & Moses Sumney)3:28
    4. Into the Red4:17
    5. Barefoot in the Park (feat. ROSALÍA)3:31
    6. Can't Believe the Way We Flow4:27
    7. Are You in Love?3:17
    8. Where's the Catch? (feat. André 3000)4:36
    9. I'll Come Too3:42
    10. Power On4:06
    11. Don't Miss It4:59
    12. Lullaby for My Insomniac3:43
A Polydor Records release; ℗ 2019 Polydor Ltd. (UK)
Critic Reviews (65)

‘Assume Form’ is a hypnotic, spellbinding arrangement of unique sounds stitched to poetry.

80% 2 weeks ago

Stereoboard (UK) Stereoboard (UK)

It’s a well-curated, 48-minute album of frequently annoying pop that’s just self-serious enough so you know you’re listening to someone who used to be weird.

50% 2 weeks ago

SpectrumCulture SpectrumCulture

Assume Form builds on Blake's foundation as an electropop savant but with added sophistication and maturity in his songwriting.

2 weeks ago

The Current The Current

The limber Assume Form finds Blake with a new lease on life.

84% 2 weeks ago

Sputnikmusic Sputnikmusic

Whereas before, Blake was holding the listener at arms length and shrouding his songs in oblique imagery, on Assume Form his lyrics are personal and detailed.

3 weeks ago

Atwood Magazine Atwood Magazine

Instead of rushing past this album wondering what happens next and whether or not he really can be a successful musician when not mired in misery, let’s just let him have it.

60% 3 weeks ago

theartsdesk.com theartsdesk.com

One thing’s for sure and it’s that Blake’s musical pallet is a fair bit brighter of late and you can expect a deeper, stronger and more solid vocal tone on much of the album.

70% 3 weeks ago

Drowned In Sound Drowned In Sound

Assume Form is a stand-out record in Blake’s catalog. He gives us the closure that he’s been longing for in his past few albums.

82% 3 weeks ago


The album’s instincts are noble, but the execution isn’t always as strong as the convictions.

3 weeks ago

Vulture Vulture

On Assume Form, he’s tried to seal up the leaks and make everything solid, but he doesn’t have all the right pieces.

3 weeks ago

Crack Magazine Crack Magazine

Sonically, Assume Form might be his most approachable album to date, but its emotions are anything but simple.

75% 3 weeks ago

The 405 The 405

Assume Form is surely a shift toward a more optimistic Blake, but occasionally at the cost of song quality and his expected moments of spicy originality.

60% 3 weeks ago

Under The Radar Under The Radar

Blake is learning to live in the present, and as a result, his music feels stronger, healthier, and more immortal than ever.

80% 3 weeks ago

nzherald nzherald

Assume Form is not so much bad as it is disappointing; it’s fine that James Blake did not reinvent the wheel, but it’s less fine that his wheels are spinning.

60% 3 weeks ago

Highsnobiety Highsnobiety

Assume Form gives a new face to Blake’s music that is happier, more loving tone, but continues along the same route as his past music.

3 weeks ago

Magnetic Magazine Magnetic Magazine

Assume Form represents a reckoning of sorts, a coming to terms with his inner demons, and the process which leads to reconciliation.

80% 3 weeks ago

The Straits Times The Straits Times (TOP)

If anything, the record feels more like the logical continuation of what he’s been doing.

3 weeks ago

Weekender Weekender

No longer masked by double exposure, deep blues and greys, Assume Form is Blake coming into focus.

80% 3 weeks ago

Exclaim Exclaim

Assume Form casts Blake’s prior albums in a new light, as does the once-secretive young maestro’s new openness about his life and his struggles.

75% 3 weeks ago


In taking elements of pop, soul, and R&B and jazzing them into a soundscape that feels unplaceable, the listener finds constancy through Blake’s voice, which is a brilliant move.

3 weeks ago

DiandraReviews DiandraReviews

James Blake has been a tough sell to the broader pop world, but he’s managed to craft an inviting record that is far removed from his previous work while keeping a lot of it intact.

80% 3 weeks ago

Soundblab Soundblab

The 12 tracks don’t precisely chronicle the Londoner’s newly opened emotions but there’s a quickening of the musical pulse that replaces his erstwhile glacial crawl with a sound approximating soulful warmth.

50% 3 weeks ago

Loud And Quiet Loud And Quiet

Blake’s fourth career album turns firmly away from the idea of sadness, without majorly altering the aesthetic that fans have come to expect.

3 weeks ago

UPROXX UPROXX

He captures his audience, as always, and so quickly does not let go.

80% 3 weeks ago

Plattentests.de Plattentests.de

Rather than a journey, this album is a proud result of his emotional maturity.

3 weeks ago

The Edge The Edge

With "Assume Form" James Blake has achieved a harmonious and pleasant album.

88% 3 weeks ago

STAGELOAD STAGELOAD

“Assume Form,” is no less intimate, but now he finds himself working with an incredible support system.

3 weeks ago

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle

For an album all about flow, Assume Form is maddeningly stagnant.

58% 3 weeks ago


Its music solidifying in a rich and involving fashion around lyrics celebrating a new-found sense of companionship.

60% 3 weeks ago

Financial Times Financial Times (TOP)

It is a decidedly interesting album, full of particular finds in the arrangements, where the personality of its author emerges clear and clear.

3 weeks ago

Soundwall.it Soundwall.it

While his general “sad boy” electropop is still the sonic skeleton of the twelve tracks, his message has wizened into a more grateful introspection, resting on the back of what is essentially a collection of blissful love songs.

86% 3 weeks ago

Northern Transmissions Northern Transmissions

His celestial ambiances and his urban touch make Assume Form a very contemporary album.

3 weeks ago

Musik Please (FR) Musik Please (FR)

You get a sense of every emotion that went into every line of Assume Form, and between the beauty and chaos of the record is an oddly calming, reassuring sound that tells you everything will be alright one day.

80% 3 weeks ago

Immortal Reviews Immortal Reviews

This album is, without a doubt, a big, glitchy, swooning, hyper-modern declaration of love.

60% 3 weeks ago

The Observer (UK) The Observer (UK) (TOP)

It is remarkable that despite (or thanks to) these features Blake delivers his most authentic album.

4 weeks ago

Indiestyle Indiestyle

On Assume Form , James Blake leaves his comfort zone and partially abandons the melancholic landscapes to celebrate love in its purest form and reinvent his sonorities in contact with musicians reciprocally emphasizing their talents.

90% 4 weeks ago

SoundOfBrit (FR) SoundOfBrit (FR)

Assume Form finds Blake sonically in a state of equilibrium, having found two niches over the course of his career that suit him equally well.

80% 4 weeks ago

musicOMH.com musicOMH.com

As ever, Blake’s taste is immaculate: Who better to view a relationship’s bittersweet totality than the man behind “Ms. Jackson”?

4 weeks ago


Truly finding himself at home in the hip-hop genre, this new release is the beginning of a new James Blake, and one that feels like there is so much more to share.

90% 4 weeks ago

MYSTIC SONS MYSTIC SONS

Conjuring feelings that are both dire and familiar, James Blake has managed to reveal a new layer of personal drama within Assume Form.

4 weeks ago

NEST HQ NEST HQ

Assume Form doesn’t have the instant gratification of his 2013 album, Overgrown – arguably his best – but it gradually pulls you in like a soothing balm.

80% 4 weeks ago

NOW Magazine NOW Magazine

Where Blake’s earliest records were a stark window into his solitary writing and recording sessions, Assume Form is inviting and intimate.

4 weeks ago

NOISEY NOISEY

Assume Form finds Blake at his most tactile and slippery, insular and assured.

4 weeks ago


Assume Form introduces joy and romance to Blake’s music, and it’s all the better for it.

4 weeks ago


There are more interesting James Blake albums than Assume Form, but there may not be another one that goes down as easy on first listen.

1 month ago

BrooklynVegan BrooklynVegan

Assume Form is wine that can not be suggested with just one plate.

80% 1 month ago

humo (BE) humo (BE)

In an age of over-saturation where everything vies for your attention, Blake’s skeletal arrangements are a refreshing antidote.

70% 1 month ago

Clash Music Clash Music

Assume Form is a statement of Blake’s self belief. His willingness to show us what he has been building towards – his most sincere and optimistic record so far.

75% 1 month ago

The Line of Best Fit The Line of Best Fit

The perma-brilliant James Blake has flooded his fourth album – Assume Form – with euphoric sepia soul and loved-up doo-wop.

100% 1 month ago

The Independent (UK) The Independent (UK) (TOP)

Blake sounds better the more famous and less famous people he’s got surrounding him, and the more rapt listeners he’s willing to reach out to.

1 month ago

The Ringer The Ringer

Let’s call this his most affecting record to date.

1 month ago

DJ Booth DJ Booth

Across his last two albums, Overgrown and The Colour In Anything, Blake gradually revealed himself—sonically, lyrically, emotionally—but on Assume Form he kicks the front door wide open.

84% 1 month ago

Resident Advisor Resident Advisor

‘Assume Form’ finds James Blake clear-headed and in focus like never before.

100% 1 month ago

New Musical Express (NME) New Musical Express (NME) (TOP)

Concerned, happy, smitten — no matter the feeling, Blake is still willing to broadcast them all.

83% 1 month ago

Entertainment Weekly Entertainment Weekly (TOP)

An album that blows James Blake’s musical and personal horizons wide open.

80% 1 month ago

DIY Magazine DIY Magazine

James Blake called in the big names for this record but weakened his sound.

40% 1 month ago

The Times of London The Times of London (TOP)

Assume Form” sets a high artistic bar for 2019.

100% 1 month ago

Newsday Newsday

The wish we had for the release of the third James Blake album THE COLOR IN ANYTHING in May 2016 has come true: the artist has come up with something different.

75% 1 month ago

Musikexpress Musikexpress

The 30-year-old Mercury Prize-winner’s most fully-realised album to date.

100% 1 month ago

The Telegraph (UK) The Telegraph (UK) (TOP)

This is festival-headline worthy, but for the body, not just the brain. I'm going to be listening to it all year.

1 month ago

British GQ British GQ

Even with a finale that slightly underwhelms, Assume Form is a remarkable achievement by one of the most original songwriters of his generation.

83% 1 month ago

Consequence of Sound Consequence of Sound

Like the rest of Blake’s albums, “Assume Form” opens into haunted, rewarding depths. All that’s missing is one luminous, fully focused pop chorus.

1 month ago

The New York Times The New York Times (TOP)

It’s tempting to lay Assume Form’s flaws on the fact that Blake’s muse is no longer solitude, but really the risk he’s taken is in over-explaining his art.

1 month ago


Blake has found his final configuration in another, and it sounds glorious.

1 month ago

Stereogum Stereogum

It is immensely pleasing to witness an artist who seemed to be at a dead end now moving forward.

80% 1 month ago

User Reviews (5)

Bobur Rustamov1 month ago
Beautiful Album ❤️❤️❤️ This is my first James Blake album experience and I gotta say this is something fresh, something exciting to listen to because the sound is not typical. The aesthetics are weird, but very VERY GOOD! I Love it! ❤️

Rorockll1 month ago
He didn’t assume form, he created it. This album shows transparent progression in my opinion. It’s fantastic. To clearly weave different sounds together the way he does, is a treat that some people’s ears have been looking forward to, from any artist. Absolute magic.

Bubblequeen761 month ago
I’ve been waiting for you James Genius!

Zion Urquidi1 month ago
Beautifully new James never ceases to amaze me with every project comes new life. This album seems to be like a breaking point for him, a launch threw the ceiling and a path to a new era of his music. His voice is as succulent as always and his boldness to try new things has really impressed me. This album has the taste of the old James but I’m glad he’s made something new and bold. Splendid album

Two Lights Road1 month ago
UGH.. Ugh. So far so bad. One obligatory star.
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