The debut album by the duo consisting of producer/singer Mike Milosh and producer Robin Hannibal is heavily Sade influenced, and the jazz-influenced R&B sound mixed with light electronic production only reinforces the comparison. The breezy, subtle caress that is Milosh’s voice, however, is always at centre stage and remains consistently excellent and attention grabbing. More about creating atmosphere in the same vein as an artist such as The xx, Woman carries through a generally sombre, but positive vibe throughout its track list.
Album opener and best track, “Open”, is one of the most memorable tracks of this year so far, mixing together subtle but effective instrumentation with Milosh’s unique vocals. A simple, pleading ballad where he follows the honest lyric, “I’m a fool for you love”, with the main refrain, “I wanna make this plain, oh, I know you’re faded, mm, but stay, don’t close your eyes”. Following that is the excellent, “The Fall”, which despite having more upbeat production, continues the longing theme with the opening lyric reading, “Make love to me, one more time, before you go away, why can’t you stay?”
A standout is the tender, “Verse”, which like the opener, has Milosh on show, with only light production used to envelope the vocal. The main hook is yet again, directly fitting with the theme, “Ain’t got a second to waste”. The nostalgic, disco vibe of “3 Days” is also a highlight off the album, mainly due to it being able to translate the subtle sound and quality of the earlier songs, into something one could dance to.
A developed and rather unique sound such as the one achieved here on Woman, is very rare for a new artist, one which many others would like to achieve through their entirety, let alone a debut. This sound, the album, does really play through and pass by like a gentle summer’s breeze, pleasant without ever being obtrusive, and leaves you longing when the final track ends. One to invest time in if you generally enjoy smooth, easy-listening music, Woman is already one of the year’s top debut albums, expect to see it among many year-end best-of lists.
Verdict – 8.2
Top Songs – “Open”, “The Fall”, “Verse”