RHYE: New Blood review – painfully hip, trendy and well-crafted

New Blood
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Artist: Rhye
Genre: Electronic
Label: Caroline International/Loma Vista Recordings

Love 'em or loathe 'em, The xx are undeniably one of the most persistent and pervasive influences in modern music. RHYE have clearly soaked up the Londoners' minimal aesthetic on New Blood, their second attempt to create a collection of slick and sophisticated pop.

The brainchild of Canadian musician Milosh and Danish instrumentalist Robin Hannibal, RHYE's early anonymous forays courted online mystery and received gushing praise from the likes of Pitchfork and the blogosphere's shakers and taste-makers.

Robin Hannibal left the fold last year to pursue other projects, leaving Milosh to mould RHYE to his own liking. The arrangements are frequently fantastic, flipping The xx script with interesting results, especially on the subtly catchy standout track Taste. However, Milosh's contralto vocals wear thin over the course of an entire album, and sorely lack enough variety in their texture and tone to make this an indispensable sophomore offering.

Bizarrely, Milosh has been very flatteringly compared to Sade, but nothing here comes anywhere close to the most successful solo British female artist in history. New Blood is a painfully hip, trendy and well-crafted album, but misses the necessary spark to make it special. rhyemusic.com