It must be tough being James Blake. It seems that a huge cloud of expectation surrounds his every move, and he's been responsible for two of the most hyped albums in recent memory. At the same time, his biggest hit remains a cover of someone else's song; his reworking of Feist's 'Limit to Your Love' launched his career in late 2010 after he'd made his mark with several EPs. The album which it ended up on went top 10 on release in February 2011, and he's kept busy since then, releasing some more EPs, getting a Mercury Prize nomination, collaborating with Bon Iver... you know, as you do. It doesn't yet seem that he's been able to step out of the shadow of that cover since then, however, even if his debut was fantastic. All this should be put to rest when Overgrown arrives - it's even better than what's come before.

There's no doubt that only James Blake could have created it, but it seems more organic than what preceded it. His music never lacked warmth, but there were times it seemed as fuzzy and obscured as the debut's artwork. He's chosen to show his face as-is on the sleeve for Overgrown, and that's only the tip of the iceberg as regards the growth which has occurred in two years. Piano has taken centre stage, and there's been a definite shift away from the post-dubstep whose movement he spearheaded a couple of years ago. His sound's been fleshed-out, too; "Suddenly I'm hit!" he declares on alternately fragile/massive-sounding lead single 'Retrograde', and it seems like he's been struck by inspiration too. The dubstep wobbles and bubbling bass that popped up in spots on James Blake do so here as well, most notably on the Brian Eno-featuring 'Digital Lion', which roars into life after its meditative opening minute, appropriately Eno-esque keyboard swells combining with multi-tracked vocals and pattering beats. It establishes itself as an early highlight, but ranks among the busier tracks on the record.

Let's not forget the voice; Blake's outstanding vocals get their moments in the spotlight during the more stripped-back songs, soaring over the top of the opening track with a confidence that raises the question of why he ever used AutoTune on the debut - or maybe that question can be answered. Now that his vocals are clear, a depth of emotion has been unveiled that perhaps needed to be somewhat obscured before. We never got much insight into why Blake's brother and sister don't speak to him ('I Never Learnt to Share'), but moments of lyrical minimalism are few and far between on Overgrown, with outpourings of emotion a regular feature on a record that hits so much harder than earlier material. His voice handles the high notes in the chorus of 'To the Last' with heartbreaking clarity, and he puts everything possible into 'Our Love Comes Back'; that's been doing the rounds recently as a live version, but the album cut really is something else, and closes Overgrown in sensational style.

The new record probably won't do anything to dispel that excitement that surrounds Blake's every move - it's been growing for three years now, and I reckon he's used to it somewhat. It's just as exciting as we've come to expect from him, and as forward-thinking as ever. Those who operate in the same sphere as him are probably falling over themselves trying to catch up. Yeah, good luck with that.