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Albums released in December are invariably overlooked in end-of-year lists made by music publications. For one, most of these lists are compiled in November. Then there's the issue of December albums not having enough of a shelf life with listeners, who need time with an album before they can pronounce judgment. One album that might be a casualty in year-end roundups is the self-titled debut of Silk Rhodes, a duo out of Baltimore who produce a slinky yet disjointed mix of soul, funk, and R&B. Silk Rhodes was recommended to me by a friend, but my ears perked up when I noticed that the album was being released on Stones Throw, the great LA label run by DJ and producer Peanut Butter Wolf. Stones Throw put out Dam-Funk's Toeachizown, in my opinion one of the best albums of the 2000s or any other decade, and since the label doesn't release funk-R&B too often, I'd assume that they set the bar pretty high when they wade into that territory. Sure enough Silk Rhodes delivers on my presumption with a lo-fi take on 70s funk and Prince-style R&B that doesn't descend into the awkward, obsequious cheese of Jamiroquai. Be sure to give Silk Rhodes a spin before closing out the year, and you can listen to today's 12 O'Clock Track, "Realtime," below.