WOMAN - RHYE
by Erin Foy Vian
When I first heard the song “Woman” by Rhye in late February, I was hit instantly by the amazing soulful, sexually intimate song and the voice. Omg who is she I was thinking?
I haven’t been hit that hard by a female vocal since I heard “First Love” from Adele’s 19, “Back to Black” from the late great Amy W, or numerous Tracy Thorn songs from EBTG. I had to know what this was and who I was listening to.
Turns out that beautiful voice I was hearing was no she, but the male duo of Danish, Robin Hannibal and Toronto native, Mike Milosh. It is he who is the feminine soft voice behind the vulnerable, emotional sometimes fragile lyrics often absent from male vocals.
I’ve listened to the album, Woman, at least 50 times now and having just found out that I’m listening to a male duo, I’m actually happy that I didn’t know it was Milosh singing because I got to really hear the music and feel the emotions and fall in love. And the record is super sexual, not in a perverse, but totally erotic way. I haven’t wanted to have sex to a record this much since the I heard XX’s Coexist.
A fine petri dish of R and B, easy listening, indie pop, classical jazz influences, and synth electronic sounds, what really stands out is the brilliant and simplistic song writing and stunning vocals. It’s a definitive record that will stand up with the greats in my opinion.
The record opens with “Open” which possesses a beautiful jazz sound and hooks you right away. Immediately followed by “The Fall” with the powerful lyric-“Make Love to me just one more time before you go away”. Haven’t we all felt that at some point? The hungry passion and “can’t get enough of you” feeling?
“Shed some Blood” reminds me so much of Sade’s "Hang on To Your Love", that it’s almost ironic. The opening chords are almost exactly the same as the great diva’s song, and the voice could be a dead ringer for her. Milosh’s sound has been widely compared to both Sade and Romy Madley-Croft of the XX.
"Hunger" is my favorite song at the moment-with a pop riff that is infectious, great horns and an infectious doo-wap thing. But alas, “Woman” the gender blender title track sums up the longing, beauty, and sensuality of this truly exceptional record. Other standout tracks - "Last Dance", "3 Days", "Major Minor Love".