BY REBECCA SHAID
Mike Milosh, the singer and musical genius behind Rhye, came back for his fourth album, Home, on Jan. 22. This new album is an ode to the home Milosh recently moved to in the Santa Monica Mountains and the relationship he’s building there with partner and album-collaborator Genevieve Medow-Jenkins, especially since isolating during the pandemic. Milosh originally started Rhye with ex-partner Robin Hannibal in 2010 and released Home as his third solo album. In this album, Milosh graces listeners with the National Danish Girls’ Choir and refreshing instrumentals that bring us back to Rhye’s original duo work. When Milosh and Hannibal chose to keep their identity secret for the beginning of their fame, many assumed the voice behind Rhye to be a woman’s. That element of surprise persists in Home as his deeply intimate messages hide behind his peacefully ethereal voice.
The album begins not with words, but with the angelically pure voices of the National Danish Girls’ Choir. A tone of hope continues into the following song, “Come In Closer.” With electrifying instrumentals and desire-filled lyrics, Rhye invokes intense feelings of both reminiscence and seductive anticipation that make this one of the best songs on the album.
With its guitar solos and the choir’s tranquil harmonies, “Hold You Down” organically mixes Rhye’s usual melodies with a new layer of alternative pop. The more physical lyrics and stimulating sounds of “Hold You Down” are followed by the slow, emotional love song “Need A Lover.” Rhye’s lyrics capture the expansiveness and nuanced difficulties of a relationship with lines like “Need a lover / And a friend the next day.”
The next song, “Helpless,” has a softened yet fun 80’s beat; combined with a music video directed by Medow-Jenkins, the song brings a wholesome and youthful tone to desire. Another standout on the album is “Sweetest Revenge.” Despite the angry lyrics, Milosh’s real vengeance is choosing to enjoy life in spite of the negative aspects. The intro’s brooding beat and restrained chords give way to upbeat instrumentals later on. “My Heart Bleeds” and “Fire” continue in Rhye’s electric-R&B aesthetic but aren’t particularly exciting or notable.
Rhye closes out Home with two beautiful tracks. “Holy” offers an uplifting message with Milosh discarding the idea of feminine purity and instead offering acceptance. Then, the National Danish Girls’ Choir closes out the album as it began with a soft and peaceful finisher, “Outro.” Home is a refreshing release from Rhye. In this devoted and passionate love letter, Rhye is able to perfectly synthesize his innate serenity with an enlivening electric energy.