A lot has changed since Rhye released their debut album, Woman, in 2013. Though the group started as a collaboration between lead vocalist Michael Milosh and producer Robin Hannibal, Hannibal left shortly before the release of Woman. Milosh now spearheads the band, having enlisted several new members with notable musical experience. Finally, Milosh has separated from his wife, to whom Woman was a serenade; he has a new love interest now.
Perhaps the most detrimental change is that the mystery surrounding Rhye has been dispelled—mystery which was, arguably, one of the most intriguing aspects of the music. When the band first came to prominence, its membership was shrouded in secret. With the high, airy voice of Milosh as a focal point, speculation about its owner ran amok. Now, the secret is out, leaving far less to the imagination.
Despite these changes, the smoothly sensual, atmospheric nature of Rhye’s music is a constant. Instrumentally, the sound has matured, likely due to its expanded membership. Husky drum riffs, muted basslines, and what sounds like a miniature orchestra sprawl beneath Milosh’s velvety voice. Unfortunately, the lyrics have not developed so thoroughly; they are as repetitive, overdone, and flat as ever. Even the bit of clever wordplay incorporated can’t salvage them. It’s not that the content is bad, it’s just that it could be articulated in much more effective ways.
Regardless of its shortcomings, the instrumentation of the record will make you feel something—enough that the lyrics become nearly a moot point. The rich detail wraps around the listener like a warm bath, and you’ll be hard-pressed not to find yourself sinking in.
Recommended If You Like: RY X, Chet Faker, Cigarettes After Sex
Recommended Tracks: 5 (Count To Five), 6 (Song For You), 7 (Blood Knows)
Do Not Play: None
Written by Jaya Chakka on 02/09/2018