Release Date: Dec 10, 2013
Record label: Deadly
Genre(s): Electronic, Downtempo, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic
Rhye’s sensual R & B album Woman has bred new albums from two deviating projects this year. The first was Quadron’s Avalanche, a jazzy neo-soul album from Rhye producer Robin Hannibal and vocalist Coco O. The other album is called Jetlag and comes from Rhye’s whispery vocalist, Michael Milosh. This is Milosh’s fourth electronic collection of hangdog love tunes, an alluring collaboration with his wife, Alexa.
When he and Robin Hannibal released Rhye's Woman, Mike Milosh had three of his own albums -- all released on the venerated independent Plug Research -- to his credit. Although Milosh was established, some writers who covered Rhye were unsure of the vocalist's identity and even gender. Backed by a major label, Woman debuted at number 55 on the Billboard 200 and instantly gave Milosh and Hannibal the most commercial exposure either had experienced.
The duo Rhye's March-released album, Woman, got under everyone's skin thanks in large part to its silky, androgynous, Sade-like vocals. Those pipes, belonging to Toronto native Mike Milosh, are back, this time gliding over mellow electronic beats on his fourth solo album, Jetlag. Milosh leaves behind Rhye's overt R&B tendencies, but this simultaneously sweet and erotic love letter to his wife has soul in spades, peppered at its best moments with staccato, syncopated, Junior Boys-esque production flourishes (as on fantastic album closer This Time).
Last fall, “The Fall” seemed to appear out of nowhere, a tantalizing, faceless wisp of sultry R&B without a bio blurb’s worth of context. As details slowly congealed leading up to the release of Rhye’s excellent debut album Woman this past March, many listeners were introduced to Michael Milosh, the man—and yes, many were reluctant to believe, that’s totally a dude—who was effortlessly braiding his voice through Robin Hannibal’s silky tracks. Milosh has been producing and releasing his own music for nearly a decade via L.A.’s Plug Research, a label with an aesthetic of high-polish adult contempo grooves personified by the Toronto transplant.
Rhye’s Woman was one of my favorite records of 2013, and when Milosh, the vocalist and half of that group, released Jetlag mere months afterwards, I was understandably excited. Unfortunately, what I got was more or less Woman, except anything even close to the greatness of “Open”, one of the best tracks of 2013, or another “The Fall”, and without the novelty of “I’m listening to a man sing?” In other words, Jetlag is a lot of interchangeable tunes that rests on the shoulders of Milosh’s undeniably pretty voice, seemingly released as soon as possible to capitalize on his success with Rhye after laboring in obscurity for the greater part of the decade. This is his fourth solo record, after all, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say it’s the first that the music community cared about.
Ever since Mike Milosh tangled heartstrings with his soulmate, actress Alexa Nikolas, he has uncovered new beauty in the world around him. His ever-growing love made mornings brighter, nights warmer, and sex… well, sexier. As a product, his creative efforts have been geared to admire that, whether he’s snapping photos of his wife or spelling out their encounters lyrically.
As the vocalist of Rhye, Mike Milosh already put out one of the year’s best records with “Woman” and now delivers again with this disc filled with languorous, minimalist electronic-based tracks. Upon first impression, Milosh’s latest solo effort appears somewhat slight, but it deepens and reveals multiple layers with each listen. The singer-songwriter coproduced with his wife, Alexa, creating alluring, pulsing soundscapes underlined with tricky rhythm tracks.
The video for Slow Down, a breathy, intimate track near the end of Michael Milosh’s new album, features his wife (actress Alexa Nikolas) driving in a car as her face shuffles through various emotions. Sometimes she seems content, other times giddy, and sometimes in tears. It’s frustrating to watch—half because nothing really happens, and half because it’s a little easier than it should be to relate to manic emotion car rides.