As one of the founding members of the monumental band Faithless, Rollo Armstrong is undoubtedly one of dance music’s most influential and seminal creators. The British super producer has been on the scene’s forefront for multiple decades, and fans have been anticipating his next move since he released 2019’s ‘The Last Summer’ with Dido, the debut album under his R Plus guise. And now, after unveiling itself gradually and gracefully over the past year through various singles, the next chapter is set to unfold: R Plus’ sophomore album ‘WeDisappear’ (with Amelia Fox).
A love affair translated into lyrical narratives by the master storyteller and the emerging vocal talent at his side, ‘WeDisappear’ perfectly captures the various stages of a relationship that grows, unfolds and regrettably withers in the end. From infatuation and passion to disillusionment, freedom and bittersweet reminiscence, the eleven-track album touches on love’s most resounding emotions, carefully and expertly narrated by the brilliant vocalist.
Drawing traces from house, electronica, chill and dance, every single is characterized by several dimensions of sound that swiftly yet excitingly transport listeners to the surprising peaks and troughs of a complex relationship. It kicks off with ‘Wanted This For So Long’, which expresses longing throughout an ambient, scene-setting intro that picks up with a groovy lead in the second half. The upbeat tempo matches the progressively intensified sentiments developing throughout the first three tracks, with the chilling basslines and funky synth lines directing an old-school romance.
The story takes a turn by the third track with ‘Love U Baby’, a soft and melancholic melody that serves as somewhat of a break before the chronicle reaches its climax by ‘Hey Lover’. A clear shift in lyrical and musical tone occurs as the persona calls out for her distant lover during a turbulent period, promising her lasting loyalty. ‘U Disappear’ picks up the pace again with a clear contrast between the despairing contents of the seraphic vocals and the cheerful beat, which travels through the painfully necessary reality check that is ‘No Magic’.
‘All Change’ returns the atmospheric lens to the mix. It elegantly introduces the juxtaposing ‘Hold On To Your Heart’, which serves as a sincere homage to the singer’s best friend, a friendship pact, and a vow to eternal fidelity. The breakup from her partner ignites a sense of rebirth in her as she breaks away from toxic habits, yet conveys underlying spite towards the world around her in ‘This Girl Is Gone’. This mood softens in the 16-minute outro (‘It Gets Me Thinkin’), a confession of fond reminiscence of her former partner in a light-toned soundscape that allows listeners both time and space for self-reflection.
While ‘The Last Summer’ illustrated a sun-kissed memory lane, ‘WeDisappear’ carries a more autumnal air alongside emboldened lyrics that speak from the heart and to the soul. Perfectly embodying its creator’s motto of “music with feeling, words with meaning”, the sophomore album is electronic and funky, a little yearning, at times uplifting and hopefully moving. It’s nostalgic for the listeners who witnessed the first album, and otherworldly for those who did not. But most of all, it’s an R Plus staple that resonates, heartens, touches and upholds the incredible standard of musical quality that has been the common thread in all of Rollo’s work since he dipped his toes into the musical waters so many years ago.
About Rollo Armstrong
Between his work for The O.T. Quartet and remix/production duo Rollo & Sister Bliss, writing and producing four of his sister Dido’s multi-million selling albums, and conquering dance floors worldwide as a founding member of Faithless, London’s Rollo Armstrong has more than earned the title of super producer. Among other things, he co-produced Felix’s global hit single ‘Don’t You Want Me’, composed the official melody for UEFA Euro 2008, has been nominated for an Academy Award and won an Ivor Novello. His productions stream over a million times a day on Spotify alone. R Plus is Rollo’s latest project. The debut album ‘The Last Summer’ was launched in 2019, and the project’s sophomore album is set to strongly resonate with lovers across the globe.
Wanted This For So Long
Let’s Just Have Some Fun
Is It Enough
Love U Baby
Hold On To Your Heart
This Girl Is Gone
It Gets Me Thinkin’