As the Internet released their debut album digitally at the end of 2011, this dreamy, dark duo benefitted from their relationship with the controversial hip-hop crew Odd Future, just on mentions in the press. It's beneficial, as Purple Naked Ladies is actually a diminutive and often humble album that easily drifts into the background, even with a flippant treatment of "Cocaine" (here, a metaphor for hot sex rather than a life-ruining drug) and song titles like "Violet Nude Women" or "C*nt." Think Portishead, '80s, atmospheric Michael Mann soundtracks, sexy loft music, neo-neo-soul, and Georgia Ann Muldrow all mixed together for a new brand of trip-hop that really lives up to that genre's title. Vocalist/rapper Syd the Kyd is the perfect Odd Future siren, sounding breathy, poetic, and even caustic when she needs to, capturing the black widow spirit on the enchanting kiss-off "Web of Me," and sounding like a stoned kind of elegant on the futuristic "Fastlane." The polished and humble creations from producer Matt Martians suggest he's the Odd Future affiliate most likely to score a car commercial, but as slick and instantly gratifying as his constructions are, they're just as deep, pulling influence from everything from Timbaland to Cornelius, from Art of Noise to Blue Note. Sounds delicious, but before considering the album as a date night soundtrack, consider the Kyd's ability to deliver depravity in a Julie London style, and that the manic main character of "She Dgaf" shaves off all her hair to find freedom from "the struggles she was raised with." Still, these damaged goods and broken people are layered and their situations are worldly, things the Internet's cohorts don't often offer. Turns out Odd Future benefits greatly from this duo anchoring their wild universe, as Purple Naked Ladies is one of the collective's more sensual and sensible releases to date. File them between MellowHype and Frank Ocean, or better yet, consider this purposeful act on their own.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries