For Muso’s Guide (it was voted #2 overall):

In a year that will mostly be remembered for the rise of Brit-rap and electro-pop, the xx stood out like a sore thumb with their gentle ambience and careful melodies.

If the Big Pink laid the foundations for the resurgence in subtle British alternative music with their electric-rock debut earlier in the year, the xx built on them in stunning fashion with an eponymous record so accomplished and sure of itself you wouldn’t believe it was their first. The xx were the most precious delicacy of 2009 in more ways than one. Deliciously simple yet spellbindingly immersive, they proved that sometimes blogosphere hype is well deserved.

The boy/girl vocals of Oliver Sim and Romy Madley-Croft offered a fresh take on sharing lyrical duties with their sexy, sumptuous simpering to each other, while multi-instrumentalist and this writer’s namesake Jamie Smith put together the gorgeous backing tracks for the pair’s aural lovemaking.

Catch the rest of the coverage here.

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