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Album Review | POP

Jamie xx, ‘In Colour’

In his role shaping the beats and production for the xx, the English band of which he’s a member, Jamie xx has been adamant that nothing but the essentials are allowed. The xx’s songs are stark, spacious, with nothing out of place. After various collaborations, remixes, and a few singles under his own name, Jamie xx (born Jamie Smith) takes a similar approach, and center stage, on his debut solo album. “In Colour” is in line with the xx’s clean production, but it’s also a sprawling, sometimes playful foray into dance-pop. Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim, his xx bandmates, contribute vocals on a few tracks, including Croft’s sumptuous turn on “Loud Places.” On “Stranger in a Room,” Sim’s arid croon glides over celestial guitar lines. The steel drum, the Caribbean instrument that has emerged as Jamie xx’s signature sound, is prominent on the instrumental “Obvs.” And he mashes up hip-hop and dancehall on “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times),” featuring rapper Young Thug and Jamaican artist Popcaan. It’s refreshing to hear Jamie xx go so widescreen. (Out Tuesday) JAMES REED

ESSENTIAL “Loud Places”

Jamie xx performs at Royale on Aug. 9.