Text by KralTunes
***Opinions expressed in this article are not endorsed nor representative of Tonight At Dawn***
Baltimore’s Sasha Desree and Michael Collins pay homage to the soulful funk of the late 70’s in their self-titled release, SILK RHODES. The intro (aptly dubbed INTRO) serves up some funky R&B instrumentals that segue into the lead single. Ultimately, “Pains” serves as a precursor for the entire album; it imbibes slinky and simplistic beats with grooves that encompass Desree’s sultry, falsetto lyrics.
Still the duo veers away from straight R&B at times and makes a satisfying hard left into a funk, with tracks like “Face to Face” and “Reeltime”. Then the album takes a smooth right into the slow, booty bumping instrumental “Personal Use” before easing into drone-funk. Each of these sparsely laid tracks feature one specific instrument that is accompanied by the bedrock bass/drum combo.
Although a formula of limited instrumentation can drag along like a monotonous landscape, Desree and Collins do a fine job of shifting gears just enough to make the trip enjoyable (it also helps that the whole album clocks out at 30 minutes).
Still, the interludes are hit or miss; the 30 second “Horizon Line” may exceed the useless “Laurie’s Machine” by miles, it is still unnecessary. Armed with a nice looping groove, “Group 1987” is the best of these scenic overlooks.
Its ultra mellow lounge act may be more BEE GEES than COMMODORES for my taste, but SILK ROHDES still has the charm of taking you back to the music you heard while buckled (or not) into the backseat of the family car.