by Lisa Kirchner

The self-titled debut from the xx, marked with a very mysterious giant X on the cover, is full of classic R&B soul-tinged girl/guy vocals over throbbing bass, and/or dreamy synths, with tribal drums tossed in for good measure.

However, this guy and girl (Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft) have some of the most seductive harmonies that have been heard in a long time. Croft’s desperate whisper is met by Sim’s forlorn rasp on most songs, which, if nothing else, make this a great album to make out to. Producer Jamie Smith and keyboardist Baria Qureshi round out the amorousness with some electronic claps, pulses, and twisted melodies. Best song for smooching? The soft and spacey synth-trip “Fantasy.” The happy-go-lucky jaunt “VCR” is a shoo-in for the post-make-out mixtape, and bass-heavy tearjerker “Night Time” is certainly the track to cry your eyes out to after it’s all over.

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