February 1, 2018 Rhye – Blood (Album Review)
Gently evocative sounds blend with artistic moods to inspire you to attain a new level of relaxation on Blood, Rhye’s sophomore release from Loma Vista Recordings, which arrives Friday, February 2, 2018.
Originally the musical guise of Canadian Vocalist Michael Milosh and Danish Instrumentalist Robin Hannibal, Rhye was forged by a duo of international artists who came to call the City of Angels home. Their debut album, 2013’s Woman, was longlisted for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize and met with extensive critical acclaim from the likes of Rolling Stone, Spin, and Pitchfork. Needless to say, a massive buzz followed for the pair, bringing with it a bevy of adoring and appreciative music lovers.
Unfortunately, Rhye would see some major changes when, in 2017, Hannibal parted ways with his musical partner. This left the Canadian as the sole figurehead in charge of Rhye’s upcoming, sophomore release, Blood. Eager to helm the project, Milosh grabbed the bull by those proverbial horns to draft the eleven-song collection, which he largely authored, performed, and produced. Blood, therefore, stands as a testament to Milosh’s diverse talents!
The collection opens with the light and airy melancholia of “Waste,” which perfectly befits Rhye’s Electro-Soul categorization; the gentlest electronics anchor the track that is vocal soul of the utmost whisper-soft variety. Similarly, little cat feet prance across the dance floor on the sensual “Taste,” which flows flawlessly into the gossamer thin fall of “Feel Your Weight.” Meanwhile, the languid pace of “Please” weaves a sensual softness that is actually a heart-wrenching plea.
There is a funky soul to Rhye’s musicality throughout the collection, blending dabs of Funk, Soul, and Jazz with electronics fully worthy of 2018. This comes through especially on tracks like “Count To Five.” However, this is not the case of every track in the collection. A stand-out offering that was whipped from the sweetest of saccharine, “Song for You” is an ode to a lover that is delicately heartfelt and beautifully sincere while maintaining a voluptuous vocal throughout.
Rhye then progresses to a more emphatic approach with the balmy clap of “Blood Knows,” while offering up a meandering, elegant embrace on “Stay Soft.” Delectable bass lines anchor the core of “Phoenix,” which builds in tension until its final funkadelic release. With the entirety of the collection being worthy of the “chill” categorization, “Softly” is, therefore, appropriately-titled and a solid representation of Blood. Perfectly-timed, the album comes to a gingerly, glittering conclusion on grand finale “Sinful.”
Musically speaking, Rhye embraces a philosophy that is equal parts Sade and The xx, with whisper-soft androgynous vocals that weave around delicate instrumentation to set a quiet, yet pensive mood. Sensually inspiring, artistically conducive, Rhye offers up music that is next level softness. Case in point, Blood is composed of chill relaxation music that all blends into a flowing tapestry of sensuality and sonic poise, artistry and gauzy film. For these reasons, CrypticRock give Rhye’s Blood 4 of 5 stars.