Mysterious R&B duo pump out tepid debut


Quiet and predominantly-Caucasian, Denmark might be the most unlikely place anyone would suspect to find a super-funktastic R&B group. But lo-and behold, with the help of the Internet, a two-person outfit made up of electronic producers Mike Milosh and Robin Hannibal has been brought to the world’s attention upon the release of its debut album, “Woman.”

After moving to L.A., both in separate pursuits of women, the two met up and decided to collaborate on one musical project, Rhye

Until a few months ago, Rhye was a completely anonymous group, which contrasts entirely with the deep personal music they put out. Its first “public appearance” they made was in a video of Milosh playing piano and crooning to his wife, all while shrouded in shadow and barely even in the shot of the camera. 

The groups grand unveiling was quite a shock to all of those who had already become fans with the release of their singles, “Open” and “The Fall,” because most assumed the lead singer was a woman. 

Turns out that Mike Milosh just has a husky, countertenor (a really, really high-pitched sound for a guy) voice and likes to use it to whine and sing feminine lyrics. 

Rhye’s sound is hard to describe – imagine Sade and her bassist teamed up with Justin Timberlake’s soulful, up-beat disco sound kicked up with sensual strings and lyrics. 

Though its music is not at all G-rated, the group’s suggestive lyrics aren’t tactless or tasteless, which has become the norm for most music these days. “Open,” which can only be described as a ‘bump-n-grind’ type of song, has vocals that are soothing and sweet: “I’m a fool for that shake in your thighs/I’m a fool for that sound in your sighs/I’m a fool for your belly/I’m a fool for your love.”

Though the music is
enjoyable, it may not be worth one’s time to come back for another listen of the whole album. There were only a few standouts and even those were lukewarm at best. 

“Verse” was sensual, slow and catchy, but felt bare with instrumentation added and repetitive and mediocre lyrics, making for a sort of forgettable track. Although “3 Days” has a harp solo opening that stands out – and mad props are to be given to anyone who would be brave enough to incorporate both kitschy synth and a harp into his track – the track’s overall sound is pretty unremarkable. 

While this album may satisfy some die-hard fans or people desperate to add another few tracks to their iPod’s make-out playlist, for the masses it falls flat especially for a debut.