Kindness brings soft R&B grooves on new album ‘Something Like A War’

Kindness brings soft R&B grooves on new album ‘Something Like A War’

Words by Jennifer Park

The rising artist returns with album three.

New, industry-free, and experimental players are changing the pop music game. Kindness (Adam Bainbridge) is one artist at the helm of this — you’ve probably heard their touch on Solange or Blood Orange records — and while their third album, Something Like A War, proves that their thoughtful production and brand of light jazz, house mishmash can still be exciting, Kindness struggles to reach their potential as a pop artist.

In between the soft R&B grooves that cover most of the album, flashes of crystal clear piano, moody cello, and electronic whirrs pull you out of the occasional daze. ‘Sibambaneni’, ‘Raise Up’, and ‘Samthing’s Interlude’ stand out because of this, showcasing Bainbridge’s ability to control a beat (they are a DJ, after all). These are powerful songs that evoke the same “everybody-now” spirit every dance track tries to achieve.

But nothing comes close to that feeling on the rest of the album; the polished and graceful production is disappointed by the sometimes underwhelming melodies. With more adventurous and concise songwriting, Something Like A War could’ve been Kindness’ big break. Instead, it seems they’ll be stuck with the “collaborator” label for a little longer.