In the space since James Blake’s debut hit earlier this year, the hype trains fueled, and the young English musician’s managed to maintain a certain candid nature about himself- odd considering how intimate his weighty creations can sometimes be. His well-publicized recent bashing of imported dub makers and the assertion that the music is made for frat boy “macho-ism” and drunk-time guzzles, showed that even in place of the delicacy of his material, he was no stranger to stirring up the pot and asserting a little attitude about himself.

For this new 6-song EP, Enough Thunder, Blake perhaps confronts that attitude with a range of emotions, going in a few directions all at once. From advancement of his futurist “post-dub” release to straight-up piano heart-pours and a slurring tune with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, the EP doesn’t necessarily paint a new direction from his debut, though perhaps teases us with a few of his roadside attractions along the way. Documented by the P4K, Blake’s creative process is a vibrant one: he sits down, writes a bunch and then gets bored with the similar-sounding momentary results and moves on. Considering this, what Thunder does is neither a result of behind-closed-doors focus, as it’s too disjointed, nor is it a totally an odds-and-ends mixture of orphan session tracks. It simply sits somewhere in the middle as a sparse, cold and minimal release.

Blake has always shined when pitted with emotion drench and space and throughout this EP, he continues to assert himself as a balladeer. Some songs have no bass, no additional production and through diving piano, Blake’s quivering saunter and sparse electronics flow. Thunder feels comprised of three parts: simple candid flourishes (“Enough Thunder”), chilling dubby chirps (“Once We All Agree” and “We Might Feel Unsound”) and an intriguing experiment in theatrical space (“Not Long Now”). There’s also a folk canon cover.

Thunder starts with “Once We All Agree,” a chilly piano prod and our wunderkind singing on about “evaded love” like that of Antony- a vocal comparison that pops up repeatedly over the release. The song is thin, basically devoid of bass, beat or stun. “We Might Feel Unsound” the following track, sits at a similar emotion, though backed by a beat skip, piano plunk and a female vocal sample on loop. When the song awakes and stutters to attention, it becomes a drunken dizzy through background electronic whirls, percussive drips and Blake at a piano, letting his voice really open up. The song’s coda is filled with a grimy, buzzing synth line that does it’s best to remind us all about dub again.

The selection feels like it needs a backbone, a hit, and (unlike Kanye’s success with him), a track with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon is certainly not it. Released as a single back in August, “Fall Creek Boys Choir,” develops into a bit of a contest between one producer (Blake doesn’t sing on it) and indie darling Vernon atop a climbing and impacting Kate Bush-like winter soundscape. Though Vernon’s got that magical voice, the song makes me immediately feel that just because these two got together, just because of who they are, the track can feature the unstable and unrecognizable falsetto vocal slurs from said bearded darling—I honestly can understand maybe 6 words of the entire song—and no one will seem to mind. Returning to vocal reality, we then get to a Joni Mitchell cover. Doing the well-known 1971 track, “A Case of You” from Mitchell’s Blue finds Blake hitting the warm and clear notes of the track with his trademark creaky intone and meander, which, for Mitchell or purist fans alike, works really well for his version, producing what’s likely this EP’s best moment.

Swimming though underwater animal sounds and synth swells, “Not Long Now” comes next. Feeling a bit like “The Wilhelm Scream’s” little brother, there’s a robo-like vocal sample and noticeable seconds of silence. It’s the EP’s most diverse track, moving from chilling to tribal to futuristic form in a few short breaths. The release comes to a close at the piano with title track, “Enough Thunder.” Blake asserts (in a reference that one can’t help but assume is directed toward the dub fans that must have the “filthiest”—his word—tunes around) that “There’s enough thunder…Tell me, are you with me?” It’s a confession that backs up that attitude of his, that if there’s already enough thunder, why don’t we have a little calm after the storm?

Hitting that equal marriage of electronic bleak and ballad sweep well, Enough Thunder is random, wobbly and at times shaking for attention- it likely won’t convert nor lose fans in the process, which if you will remember, his EPs have a tendency to do. Blake built himself on the success of The Bells Sketch, CMYK and Klavierwerke, all refreshing and damn intriguing upon issue back in 2010, so considering this is his first mini release since his debut, dare I want the moment to be important? There are experimental hints that Blake could do something a bit more scattered or diverse next, futurist ballads for the melded generation perhaps and then spinning around, the tunes backed by balled sweep are some of the the EP’s best moments, so the overall direction comes down to shaky. This EP is both standalone and bundled with the deluxe edition of debut album but there isn’t much of Thunder that must be heard outside of the LP scape… What it does is simply present a snapshot of a creative moment and considering its attempts, I gulp in saying it’s his shabbiest of the lot of Blake’s EPs.

This review originally appeared on the Mishka Bloglin.