silkrhodes

Since its inception in 1996, if you see a Stones Throw sticker adorning the cellophane wrapper of an LP sleeve, it’s generally an indicator of high quality music. But Silk Rhodes – while not quite the exception to this rule – aren’t yet up to the same calibre as some of their esteemed labelmates (J Dilla, Madlib, Jonwayne).

The Baltimore duo’s debut is caught somewhere between vintage Philly soul – replete with sweet falsetto harmonies – and subtly distorted psychedelia. When that works – on songs such as ‘The System’ or ‘Pains’ – their sound shimmers with slick, minimalist R&B. But it’s an insubstantial affair. Few tracks even broach three minutes, leaving much of the album to feel half-sketched, and while there’s undoubtedly promise, it’s handled with such haste that songs barely find the space to develop.

Maybe next time it would pay Silk Rhodes to slow down and remember that, when you’re dealing in sexy and soulful tunes, taking your time on the journey matters more than racing to the destination. In fact, the journey is the whole thing.

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