The Internet - Hive Mind
It is always a good day when we get new music from The Internet. It's been awhile since the stellar Ego Death and members of the band have put out other equally fantastic solo albums. There is something however when this group comes together that is simply undeniable. Syds vocal, the plucky bass, a deep knowledge of soul music but always looking forward their music is truly a joy to listen to. This new record Hive Mind opens with "Come Together" an almost call to arms for the record. The track invites everyone to the table, sets the stage for this deep soulful experience and allows "Roll (Burbank Funk)" to bring the groove. The vibe is so deeply 70s soul and funk on this album, but none of it feels like any kind of copy. The Internet knows what's good about the classics, but wants to make them all their own and specifically for 2018. The way Syd judiciously uses her vocal is truly something to behold. She never over reaches or try to bend a track to her will. Instead she lays her voice over the top like a pad of butter over warm pancakes. There is less rapping on this album, far far less which is a bit of a bummer but understandable given the vibe they are trying to cultivate. It's a slicker more groove driven idea they are trying to get across, instead of the moody relationship focused Ego Death. It's a departure you never knew you wanted or needed, but one that is welcome none the less.
"Bravo" slips back towards the moody side of things, but does so with a much natural and warm sounding instrumentation. This whole album is less electronically driven, at least in practice. They almost strive for a vinyl feel without adding unneeded record fuzz. Organic is the word that keeps springing to mind. Every aspect of this album feels natural and well placed allowing the almost an hour's worth of music to shine super bright. They never drag you down, even when the tempo slows. If there is anything missing the record could do for a few more boppy songs and less of the slow atmospheric vibes. The later half of the album is focused on these kinds of songs bringing it to a bit of a slow stop rather than leaving you on that high high from the opening of the record. "It Gets Better (With Time)" is a sweet song with a wonderful message but it feels a little jam band, jazz, slam poetry-esque. It does feel nice to have a solid block of music with this that isn't overblown like the preposterous double Drake album, or some collection of EPs. The Internet wanted to make this a successful record and the succeeded in spades. Hive Mind might just have you drinking the kool-aid, but be prepared for major grooves ahead.
8.9 out of 10