Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be 50 Essential Albums by LGBTQ Artists, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Considering that the qualifier “LGBTQ” can often be open to various interpretations, for the purposes of this particular list, we have defined an artist as LGBTQ if he, she or they have ever publicly identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer. Moreover, albums by groups have been included in the list if any of their members fit the aforementioned criteria, even if some members do not.
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THE XX | xx
Young Turks (2009)
Selected by Rayna Khaitan
The xx’s self-titled debut is one of those rare records that’s universally appealing. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed that if I’m really into something, my brother will find it displeasingly depressing. But, that isn’t the case with xx. He not only has requested to hear it, he actually borrowed it. So, I shouldn’t have been too surprised when it started cropping up all over the place, including the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Drawing inspiration from the band members’ diverse tastes, including electronica, dreampop and R&B, the album effortlessly achieves a cool, yet lush, soundscape. Bedroom-studio beats and sleepy duets from singers Romy Croft and Oliver Sim give the album a naked intimacy that will slay you if you’re susceptible to such things.
On the whole, xx, now fast approaching its 10-year anniversary, remains a crowd-pleasing affair fit for introspective evenings and after-hour parties alike.