Thursday, March 09, 2017

Rhye WOMAN (2013)



I've listen to this album a bunch in the last 365 days, but wasn't inspired to share it until Ben Ratliff (GOAT emeritus) on the New York Times Music Popcast podcast (I'm mainlining the back catalogue) included it in his 2013 best-of and mentioned that it was a man's voice.  Previously I'd taken it as perfect Sade tribute, now I'm baffled in the best way.  Both members of the duo have gone on to work with really interesting people in pop, and have left this as a stand-alone debut and denouement.  Sade is the hero of Quiet Storm, one of the greatest musicians of Late Capitalism, and her music never fails to put me in deep remembrance of middle school crushes, because smooth jazz was the only music made available to me as a youngster, and I took the best of it, and molded it to fit the unsordid dramas of being thirteen and hopeless and bursting with hope, and of course those crushes reached titanic heights during summer vacation, when you are free to romanticize a person with English-poet-with-syphillis vigor.  To me, the most magical part of growing up in Portland was the summer evenings.  The sun sets behind the West Hills but hasn't really set, so there is this hour, but it feels like more, of soft lavender light.  That's what this music, and especially Sade, always invoke for me.  The clarity and harmony of zero humidity, sprinklers, ice cream trucks; anxiety and stress distant as probes sent far from Earth, never to return.

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