Rhythm & Reason
01 June 2015
Hailed by Robert Christgau for NPR All Things Considered as a “penetrating melodist, accomplished guitarist and striking singer,” Bhiman uses his own upbringing as the son of immigrants as a central theme for the album’s 10 original songs. With production by Sam Kassirer (Lake Street Dive, Josh Ritter), Bhiman deploys bold language and sonic sparks – from richly arranged strings and woodwinds to a literal gunshot – on Rhythm & Reason, all anchored by his most powerful instrument, his unmistakeable tenor hailed as “full-bodied and brawny but delicate” by the New York Times.
Bhiman balances the subversive with the sensitive on Rhythm & Reason, drawing inspiration in equal measure from Richard Pryor and Curtis Mayfield for their keen observations, their biting commentary and their humanity. Opener “Moving to Brussels” sets the tone for the album in the form of an immigrant’s Dear John letter to his former dictator; “Waterboarded in Love” details an interrogation by a jealous love; and “Up In Arms” recounts Black Panther Huey Newton’s fall from prominence