Sometimes what everyone really needs is an album that keeps it calm and collected. A balanced look at something internal, and works mechanically but provocatively. That's everything that Rhye provides with his newest record. Rhye plays it cool on the ethereal, calming Blood, an intimate and pained look on life that moves like a beast.
Blood is a record with little climax and more context, which works both for it and against it. You really get a sense of a weathered soul throughout Blood, as it is both portrayed by the lyrics and the sound of the music. Opening track 'Waste' is very chill and laidback, while its lyrics tell a tragic tale of longing: "You're waiting in my mind / Your face is all I'll find." Rhye finds simplicity in tragedy, maintaining a minimalist sound for a lot of the record. 'Feel Your Weight' is a perfect example with its smooth textures and sobering lyrics.
Rhye does a lot to create drama on Blood, and it works well with his quiet formula. He even begins to mix things up with a bit more drive as it progresses, especially in the funk-laced 'Count To Five.' A problem that arises in Blood is that at some point, it feels a bit too much like it's crying woe-is-me. An album that's entirely sad can say a lot, but an album that tries to explore every aspect of one specific feeling really needs to have variety in its sound if it wants to really grow. Blood is largely about love and longing, but when most of the songs have the same sort of vibe, its hard to really attach yourself to it. The end of the album ties it all together nicely, 'Softly' bringing in more heartbreak than others to really drive the point straight and 'Sinful' adding some dynamic with the orchestra to actually bring something more climactic. It's sad that the only dynamic part of the record is at the end, and it continues to make the rest of the album seem a bit more dull, if not impersonal.
Rhye plays it cool on the ethereal, calming Blood, wallowing in loneliness and love but not varying up his sound enough to the point where the intimacy becomes impersonal. It's hard to balance a record that really tries to capture one emotion in every angle, but tackling it from the same view each and every time is not the way to go about it.
Favorite Tracks: Sinful, Softly
Least Favorite Track: Please
Rating: 71 / 100
Stream or buy Blood on Apple Music, and follow out 2018 Playlist: