5 Reasons Why The xx's 'Intro' Is One of the Greatest Songs of All Time
One might file a song titled "Intro" into a metaphorical throw away bin – often forgettable in the overall artistry of a full-length album. Intros serve as teasers; short bursts of melody or spoken word that lead into a standard album.
But what about when the intro steals the spotlight? This is the case on The xx's 2009 debut album, xx, where magic happens in the first two minutes and eight seconds. The song continues to build until it bursts, a rush that lasts only for a moment, before letting up when human voices are roused to take us into the fade out. We are left wanting more, the clear advantage of an "intro" being the first impression we get.
This is not to say the remainder of the album isn't enjoyable, or memorable, but the intro manages to stand out, among equally excellent debut single "Crystalised" -- the only song on The xx's first LP that found a home on the Alternative Songs chart.
xx was released on this day (Aug. 14) in 2009. Here are 5 reasons why its "Intro" is one of the greatest songs of all time.
1. It's on your chill mix. It's on your sex mix. It's on your sleep mix. The fact is, "Intro" has been on a mix you once made, because the song makes you feel alive, regardless of whether you're heartbroken, or overjoyed, and anywhere in between.
2. Rihanna samples "Intro" throughout her 2012 song "Drunk on Love," which essentially serves as the reprise to the track we always wanted. She turns the track into three-plus minutes of bliss, continuously stating "nothing can sober me up."
3. Due to popular demand, YouTubers have taken the liberty of extending the beloved track -- so you can start with a seamless edit lasting 2:45 hours, and work up to 10 hours of continuous looping after that. It might take close to that long for you to get sick of it.
4. Soon after the world caught on to the short but mighty track, it was notably everywhere. It was used in the 2010 comedy/drama It's Kind Of A Funny Story during a drawing scene, which of course worked seamlessly, as it likely would with any artistic visual. It's how a song that was never released as a single or given any special promotion has racked up nearly 200 million plays on Spotify as of August 2017 -- by far the most of any song in the group's catalog.
5. It's the definition of "epic minimalism": A song that feels only mightier and more massive for the scarcity of musical elements actually present in its construction.