Habits Of The Heart, Idle Warship's first official release, will have you thinking the same, as this is a group that isn't worried if whatever they're doing is not of the norm, and could possibly not be digested as simply. They just want you to listen---and that's fine by me. Idle is quite a strange collective, strange in that they are taking risks, risks that people grumble that there isn't enough of in the mainstream---yet still they are a best kept secret.
Now a duo (comprised of talents Res and Talib Kweli) they come front and center with a polished set of tunes that is a far cry from their Party Robot mixtape, only thing is don't call this a 'hip-hop' record, Talib Kweli doesn't hear it as such---and he's right. Eclecticism is the game here, and if you're not someone who can't get past the wham-bam flourish of every genre known to man or the grab bag of guest stars (Chester French, Jean Grae, Michelle Williams, John Forte) present then this is a 'habit' to break. Habits bends the genres, takes them out of their safety nets, and gives something for everyone. Though it borders a bit on overwhelm and at some points crosses into hackneyed this side of *shudder* Black Eyed Peas cheers, but for Idle Warship you won't be wiping the beads of sweat off of your forehead from chagrin, you'll be wiping it off because you'll be having a sexy good time sweating to this pinball machine of sound.
Even in it's dizzying haphazardness, Habits bridges every lick n' tempo change in a collective piece to where you're fully involved. First looks, "Laser Beams" and the skittish New Wave dream, "Rat Race" are night and day in tone. Disco and alt-punk rock merge on the excellent, "Burning Desire" and on it's flip "Beautifully Bad" reforms the pop torch song with more substance and risk. The best moment is the video game scribble of "Covered In Fantasy" as it merges arena rock, indie soul, and straight up rap, plus has the killer line: "if you scratch beneath the surface, you'll find my purpose" with Res driving the core mantra of Idle Warship home with the repeated refrain of: "I am me". Yes, Talib and Res are themselves and unapologetic about it---and that's exactly what you want and get when you listen to Habits of the Heart.