The xx has previously gotten away with hiding behind their synths and noise. One could easily make the claim that they were an electric band, judging by the repression of voices and lyrics in their musical landscape. It was time for a change, though, something reflected on the band's latest album, "I See You," whose title could very well be reversed towards the indie phenomenon.

About the album

"I See You" is the third studio album from British band The xx. The first record released by the band in over four years, "I See You" was released on January 13, 2017.

The band supported its release with a performance on "Saturday Night Live."

The band's previous album "Coexist," received positive reviews back in 2012. Since then, though, The xx has gone in a different directions, taking a break from recording music while their DJ, Jamie xx, went to go and create his own solo record. He took some of the lessons from that experience and brought it back to the band for "I See You."

A positive direction

The big difference between "I See You" and previous iterations of The xx is the open nature of the lyrics and the vocals on the record. The album is practically brimming with delight, albeit in a clearly exaggerated state. Take the lead single from the album, "On Hold." The lyrics aren't bubbling to the surface because of their happy-go-lucky nature -- the song appears to detail a struggle in a relationship, or a miscommunication.

Yet when Jamie xx asserts his presence with a rolling drop, it's hard not to do a joyous jig.

More prescient than the mood of the album is the general state of affairs. On each song, it feels like the listener is unlocking an emotion the band has been storing within, waiting for the most comfortable moment to tell the world.

The song "Performance" sums this up well. The musicality isn't breaking the internet, and even the originality of the lyrics can be questioned. Still, the way The xx delivers the song provides a self-check into our own practices, our own performances -- are we who we believe we are or are we just putting up a facade? The song reaches a listener with that question.

At times, The xx can come off as having a false sense of self. "A Violent Noise" and "Brave for You" fall short in that department, with the latter almost feeling like the very performance the band was questioning earlier on "I See You."

Final thoughts

"I See You" is at its best, though, it's permitting the audience to dance and emote in simultaneous fashion. "Say Something Loving" provides an emotional and depth-filled genuine burst of feeling, but it's preceded by "Dangerous," the album opener that toots the horns like nobody's business.

The xx is still searching for their path, defining and refining what it means to be an indie pop-electro band in uncertain times. Reaching for emotional salvation on "I See You," however, feels like a positive start.

Best Song: "On Hold" -- the hits should be the best songs of a record, so The xx comes through with theirs.

Worst Song: "Replica" -- miscast on "I See You."

Album Rating: B+