Usually, when group members start spinning off with solo projects it spells the end of the group as we know it. So when last year saw The Internet's Syd, Matt Martians and Steve Lacy release solo efforts, folks started to get a little worried about everyone's favorite not-quite-underground soul band. We all had nothing to fear though, as early this year the band revealed that after one last solo project — bass player Patrick Page II's Letters Of Irrelevance — that they'd be dropping their fourth studio album. A triple threat of singles soon followed, and today we have the official release of that project: Hive Mind.
Hive Mind finds the quintet coalescing better than ever as they take over all production and writing duties this go 'round. This results in a much more cohesive sound as the quintet mostly aims to reimagine the funk sounds of yesterday through a modern R&B lens. Of course, the trio of lead singles — "Roll (Burbank Funk)," "Come Over" and "La Di Da" — illustrate this with a mix of throwback vibes and modern lyrics. They keep that aesthetic going throughout most of the album with tracks like opener "Come Together" and "Look What U Started," crafting songs around thick bass line grooves that make you sit up and pay attention. They also prove adept at exploring their softer, more romantic side on the album as well. This is probably best exemplified on songs like "Stay The Night," a track propelled by acoustic guitar and Syd's delicate vocal as she suggests a lady friend release her worries and make herself at home, and closer "Hold On," which builds from a singular guitar-and-bass groove and expands to include synth and piano as it Syd offers seductive promises in her signature breathy voice.
With no outside influence and bringing the experience of their individual solo outings, Hive Mind shows the group reforming with a sound even tighter than their breakthrough album Ego Death. The Internet has once again outdone themselves and given modern R&B another sign that the genre's future is in pretty good hands. You can pick up the album from digital retailers now and stream it in its entirety via Spotify below.