American alternative-soul group The Internet have carved out an impressive catalogue of smooth, funk-tinged music, and their latest offering, Hive Mind, shows the group continuing along the same vein.
Openers Come Together and Roll (Burbank Funk) are all about the meaty, funk bass lines. They anchor both tracks underneath intricate polyrhythms and light, breezy woodwind, and vocal interplay between Syd Bennett and Steve Lacy. Bennett takes centre stage from the Marvin Gaye-esque slow groove of Come Over onwards, and adds an element of lounge in La Di Da alongside R’n’B singing styles.
Hive Mind constantly references classic-era hip hop with punchy, repetitive beats in tracks like Look What U Started and Next Time/Humble Pie, which give some much-needed drive to these laid-back instrumentals and harmonies. Throughout the album, Bennett explores the themes of a relationship, and it’s all summarised in closer Hold On.
At times, some songs seem to drag (Wanna Be, and Mood), while others feel like continuations of preceding songs (It Gets Better With Time), but each track has its merits. Hive Mind is a refreshing blend of 70s, 80s and 90s soul, delivered in a satisfying new way.
Edited by Ginny Wong