Articles featuring photography by Deborah Selwood

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"Señorita" by Rheo Uno


I get extremely intrigued by what artists occasionally say about their own work. Obviously as a reviewer I sometimes (and only when I feel it's an accurate assessment and not knee jerk hyperbole) rate something as possibly being "their best so far". Many artists (at least the ones I review) usually err on the side of caution and wait for popular comment before rating their own work, which I think is a healthy sign. However on the odd instances where their enthusiasm for the fruits of their own creativity boils over into dubbing a track a personal favourite, I think one should take especial notice.

In this instance, I must say I take Rheo Uno's comments about her new single "Señorita" (out tomorrow) very seriously and with much respect. This is enhanced by my reaction to her previous two releases under this new brand as I felt that her debut under this new, augmented name, "Wife Me?" was especially strong and its follow up "Show Me", her first released composition of the new regime as the earlier single was written earlier, even more so.

Nevertheless, Rheo's enthusiasm for this new one is infectious and it is a real delight to witness an artist so confident in what she is doing & so obviously enjoying herself. Such attributes naturally help shape the glories of the song. Rheo clearly aims for perfection in her art (both writing & production) and the finer details of "Señorita" as with all her previous work indicate much hard work & thought as well as love. However the obsession with such matters can often result in antiseptic songs devoid of true character and passion yet Rheo seems aware of this too & "Señorita"  bubbles with authenticity & honesty.

Dabbling into Iberian culture can often, in the right hands (let's suggest the likes of ABBA or Madonna?) provide a very interesting variation providing it's not a trick you play too often & it's one you play with taste. The other end of the spectrum being of course the ghastly chart successes of material aimed at reminding returned holidaymakers of sangria drenched Spanish hotel discos. Thankfully Rheo is firmly at the classy end of this particular dichotomy.  There are plenty of Spanish musical and lyrical clichés available to her, all of which she ignores. In fact what you get is pretty much the epitome of what Rheo Uno music seems to be intended to be: well wrought danceable pop, in this case dusted with Latin elements with the softest and subtlest of touches.

I'm guessing that this may contribute to why she rates it so highly herself: it demonstrates what she can do with a light approach. "Señorita"  is certainly much less upfront than its two predecessors and not only is this contrast useful (and indicative of a broad range) but also it seems one with an appeal to a slightly more mature audience: this is cool Rheo Uno, with an insouciant elegance, one who can glide through a song as well as she can bounce through one. An adult accustomed to the finer experiences of life and as the song's lyrics suggest, a cosmopolitan individual at home in exotic and sophisticated cultures and able to express herself within them.

Created with the collaboration of Erim Ahmet and Charles Drew,"Señorita" is the third really excellent Rheo Uno release. I understand that her new profile has, with the success of the first two singles, risen in online following spectacularly, so I confidently expect that to continue. Although we can be proud that she is a local artist, her music is totally universal in appeal and I'd like to think that a national and thence international status is something which will come for her. She feels she is on a roll & upwards trajectory right now & I certainly am happy to endorse & agree with that. Viva Rheo Uno.

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"Show Me" by Rheo Uno


Considerably less than a month ago, I was strongly suggesting to you that you should check out the new Rheo Uno single "Wife Me?" yet already the release of its successor, "Show Me" is nigh: it comes out on Tuesday 24th. (If you haven't yet listened to it, then please get your skates on as I think it's great).

This is without a shadow of a doubt an artist eager to make up for lost time and a musician desperate to share the fruits of her recent recording sessions: her first under her augmented name and so this is the second single of the new manifestation.

If "Wife Me?" presented a stepping stone from one era to another (it was a slightly older song in terms of composition, albeit with an arrangement and production to lead us gently into her latest sound), then "Show Me" is 100% what Rheo Uno is all about today. It's as fresh as it gets.

As I said in relation to "Wife Me?", this 2021 Rheo Uno is a move into what she describes as "commercial pop", though as I also said, and say again, about the new single, she has not deserted her dance orientated approach entirely: I'd say it might be better to call her new direction, instead of being a change, more of being an evolution or augmentation. Rheo Uno as Rheo Plus perhaps. The danceability is totally intact, but the beat is very different to that of "Wife Me?".  If the former fizzed with its effervescence, then "Show Me" is a more reflective and considered: a stately and dignified response which offers a mature and high moral ground seeking way of dealing with a situation which nevertheless reveals a deeper anguish throughout what is a surprisingly short track: I'm not used to songs coming in under three minutes let alone ones of this nature. Certainly Rheo is to be commended for keeping it succinct & to the point, but if she was at all interested in a dance mix of longer duration, I really think it would work well too.

The nature of the lyric drives the icy production and as such helps emphasise what she's singing about. This is not the breezy sass of the previous release but a very different emotion presented just as effectively. I'm not remotely surprised by her confidence in her own material and where it is taking her: in just two singles she has demonstrated not just the ability to keep the quality levels sky high but also that she has range.

Rheo brings a lot of things to the party: she clearly has innate talent when it comes to composing and performing, but I admire how she isn't complacent with these: she works hard to hone her tracks and perfect her craft and also gives thought to moving her career forwards & not treading musical water. For these things alone I think she deserves your attention, but "Show Me" is a superior piece of pop which as far as I can judge ticks all the boxes necessary for success except for that one over which she has no control: luck. Let's hope that final piece of the jigsaw is given her once people here this song.

If you would like to ensure getting hold of a copy of "Show Me" at your earliest opportunity, it is available to presave via this link:

The photography and retouching is by Deborah Selwood

Artwork by Chaos Stylist

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From the back catalogue