There’s nothing accidental about the visceral associations of naming your record ‘Blood’. Like love, the word conjures both absolute vitality and the fear of losing it; when we envisage blood, it is usually spent in stains, drawn from a sullied life force. After extensively touring their widely adored debut ‘Woman’, it made sense that the next Rhye album would be informed by those live experiences. That album was defined by its intimate moments; something else that was susceptible to be lost.
Thankfully, the only change appears to be an increased confidence in the band’s ability to flesh out those soft moments, to wring the sadness and joys from each song. Early track ‘Taste’ suggests a more dancefloor-ready style, complete with coquettish lyrics (“See me fall from your eyes to your waist”). But Rhye have always had a shimmy in their step, and the beating heart remains the emotional vulnerability of Milosh’s vocal delivery, at once mournful and seductive.
A stunning middle section peaks with ‘Blood Knows’, a gorgeous plea to hold onto all we can: the physical body, the pleasure of arms around a lover’s waist. Like no one else, Rhye make the vicissitudes of love feel like life or death, played out on a richer sonic palette than ever.
Words: Matthew Neale
Dig it? Dig deeper: Quadron, SOHN, Autre Ne Veut
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