If the first track of Habits of the Heart doesn’t hook you, it’s possible you don’t have a soul.

Idle Warship — a partnership between hip-hop great Talib Kweli and singer/songwriter Res — storm out of the gates on this album with an intense, Latin-flavored funk number titled “Enemy.” The piano and bass are vamping hard, the drums click a steady beat and a synth organ provides filler, while Res belts and Kweli is spitting rapid-fire rhymes with his famous flow. Wait — was that a break with a two-second Zeppelin sample? I think so.

The duo lives up to the musical promises made in “Enemy” for the rest of the album. They blend hip-hop, soul, funk, rock and electro influences in a way that sounds organic — an achievement that’s especially satisfying since similar efforts from other artists can feel so forced. Gritty, heavy synths dominate “Katya,” while pure rock drumming drives “Are You In” and “Covered in Fantasy” highlights some seriously good rapping.


Listen now on Spotify.