he departure of Robin Hannibal doesn’t seem to have altered Rhye in their fundamentals. Though Mike Milosh is now the sole member – aided by whoever he managed to herd into the studio – the sound of the second Rhye album is still a particularly sepulchral take on R&B, not entirely unrelated to the xx, and with some of the same nocturnal wooziness of Cigarettes After Sex (though it’s entirely possible neither act would recognise the comparison). Milosh has been talking up the differences between this and Woman, Rhye’s debut – it was built on the time the group spent on the road, rather than being a simple construction; it’s inspired by disintegrating relationships – but all bar the closest listeners will be happy to hear something that could pass for Woman Part II, for all that it’s played on live instruments.
That’s perhaps testament to the quality of the songwriting on both albums, and to Milosh’s extraordinary voice – a seductive, sleepy countertenor that leads people to believe they are hearing a woman at first. The detailing throughout is fabulous: the way Phoenix builds almost imperceptibly, introducing the slightest of funk guitar, then sotto stabs of horns; the way Feel Your Weight keeps shifting and building without ever losing direction. Best of all is Sinful, in which a circular folk guitar pattern repeats, kept tense by percussion limited to hi-hat, strings adding layers of urgency: it’s so perfectly judged it sounds as though it has always existed, and was hidden under dust waiting to be uncovered.
|A3||Feel Your Weight|
|A5||Count To Five|
|A6||Song For You|