Track Review: The xx, ‘On Hold’
The xx returns with an electrifying new single, “On Hold.” “On Hold” serves as the promo single from forthcoming album, I See You.
Electronic, alternative collective The xx return with a new single, “On Hold.” “On Hold” serves as the promo single from the collective’s forthcoming LP, I See You. I See You is a ways off, arriving in January 2017. “On Hold” is an exceptional way to whet the listener’s palette.
“On Hold” opens warmly, with a beautiful timbre established by the pads and synths. There is beautiful vocal contrast between Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim. Croft handles the verse, while Sim handles the pre-chorus and following chorus.
Croft approaches “On Hold” as accepting it’s time to move on from the relationship, but there are no hard feelings. Two pristine examples occur, with the first arriving on the first verse:
“I don’t blame you / we got carried away / I can’t hold on / to an empty space.”
Verse two yields another example of the aforementioned sentiment:
“My young heart chose to believe / we were destined / young hearts / all need love / call it a lesson.”
Thoughtfully composed, “On Hold” features a memorable pre-Chorus, performed by Sim:
“Now you’ve found a new star to orbit / it could be love / I think you’re too soon to call us old / when and where did we go cold? / I thought I had you on hold.”
The pre-chorus sums up the overall sentiment the song. The chorus provides the perspective from the guy:
“And every time I let you leave / I always saw you coming back to me / when and where did we go cold? / I thought I had you on hold.”
Interesting, a Hall & Oates sample appears during the post-chorus:
“Where does it stop, where does it stop / where do you dare me to? / you’ve got the body, you’ve got the body / dare me to, dare me to.”
The return of The xx seems to be an exciting thing considering the quality of “On Hold.” It is a well-written, well-produced, and soundly performed song. The vocal chemistry between Croft and Sim is amazing.