The notion of Ruban Nielson’s Unknown Mortal Orchestra being impeccable emulators of R&B is one that’s never quite sat right with my ears. Needless to say there’s no doubting the effervescent, and with that consistently excellent output from Nielson et al. over these past few years (whether the Velveteen jangle of Ffunny Ffrends, or the angular jaunt down the soulful slant of How Can U Luv Me, or the snappy pop hooks of Swim and Sleep (Like A Shark) which were recently adroitly recomposed by none other than Little Dragon) though the R&B terminology never quite rang with conviction nor the crystallinity of truth. Nonetheless So Good At Being In Trouble, the second track to be outed from UMO’s forthcoming sophomore, II, recalls the smoky sulk of the genre’s great pioneers and progenitors: musically smoother than Barry White’s backing band and smothered in a honeyed vocal that’s kinda like the cloying, alloyed nectar of Al and Shuggie it’s the ‘Orchestra’s most seductive recording to date and a goddamn auspicious indication of that which is to come early on next month.
II is expected February 4th via Jagjaguwar.