Kindness is indie disco/R&B-influenced dude Adam Bainbridge. 'Otherness' is his second record and the follow-up to 'World, You Need a Change of Mind'. It's heavy on the funk and even heavier on the collaborations -- the record includes guest spots from Kelela, Robyn and Blood Orange frontman Dev Hynes. Get ready for sad, smooth vibes.
Tracks:World Restart (feat. Kelela & Ade) This Is Not About Us I'll Be Back Who Do You Love? (feat. Robyn) 8Th Wonder (feat. M.anifest) With You (feat. Kelela) Geneva For The Young Why Don't You Love Me (feat Devonté Hynes & Tawiah) It'll Be Ok
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After almost 15 years in ‘the biz’ you’d think that I would get used to much heralded acts being almost indescribably bad once you actually put the needle on the record. I had Kindness down as something I’d probably like if only I bothered to listen to it, some kind of mid-fi eccentric troubadour maybe? Nothing will prepare you for this desperate work.
The cover depicting a ‘moody’ Adam Bainbridge pouting away from the camera but knowing far too well where it is starts the warning klaxon, as does the insert pic, Bainbridge with shirt unbuttoned to reveal sprouts of chest hair. It would do an awful disservice to Jamiroquai to compare opener ‘Would Restart’ to his music, instead shoot right towards Manhattan Transfer and you are somewhere close. Sure it has some Prince style funk and sure there’s a bubbly bassline but the track lacks soul, sophistication and anything that would remotely stick in your head or make you want to dance. ‘This Is Not About Us’ is better, courtesy of a soulful, gospel ish piano and some heavy cowbell but Adam Bainbridge voice just isn’t likable. During the office ‘three strikes and you are out’ listening test ‘I’ll be Back’ signalled it being hurled off the stereo. Vapid, soul-lite that fails to register entirely.
There is the odd moment of inspiration, ‘For the Young’ based around a nice Herbie Hancock sample could be pretty sweet but like everything else here it is smoothly overproduced. Some big hitting guests are scattered across the LP, Robyn’s high pitched squeak struggles to distinguish ‘Who Do You Love’ from all the other crappy soul-lite on here, the ever despairing and over-rated Devonte Hynes appears later on ‘Why Don’t You Love’ me which sounds like Prince with his balls removed. Its on the truly shocking ‘With You’ that I have no alternative to turn the LP off, treacly saxophones dominate, a female vocal is entirely inconsequential and Bainbridge has the nerve to sample the Art of Noise but it’s a pathetic attempt at injecting any interest. I keep expecting the album to improve but it just seems to get worse, if you want some slithery soulful stuff check out Thundercat instead, this is truly anaemic.
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