Album Review: Hercules and Love Affair - Hercules and Love Affair

Without doubt the most anticipated release from the DFA stable this side of Sound Of Silver, Hercules and Love Affair (the album) already has one classic single in the form of 'Blind'. A disco atonement for your sins, a unifying stomp of a record, 'Blind' seems destined to cross-over. Does this long-player give it the ammunition it needs?

First off let's get the awkwardness out the way: vocals on many tracks here are provided by Anthony of Anthony and the Johnson's. Every other blogger and journalist feels the need to mention this so BlackPlastic best not break tradition. BlackPlastic has its own opinion on Anthony and the Johnsons and it mostly centres around the fact that their music is pretentious and a chore to listen to, anyone who thinks otherwise must be determined to impress someone. It is the musical equivalent of self-flagulation: it might get you closer to God but it's still painful.

A digression.

Hercules and Love Affair represents a much more suitable vehicle for Anthony and this fact is obviouse from the off: 'Hercules' Theme' is a gorgeous spoon of sugar molasses, a throbbing disco funk bassline carries Anthony's vocals along but the strings and bass provide all the star-quality on this summer anthem in waiting. Elsewhere 'You Belong' is classic Chicago house and Anthony's vocals feel right at home. You should alreasy know 'Blind', but in case you don't it is a mournful disco cut for the 21st century, an anthem for the dancefloor and for your heart, all soulful strings and tearful vocals.

The songs without Anthony are equally strong. 'Athene' is all sparkles and sounds organic whilst 'Iris' sounds like delicate letter to yourself.

What Hercules demonstrates best is a deft touch. The production is immaculate and, to his credit, DFA's lesser-known label co-founder Tim Goldsworthy's touch is all over it, the considered and deliberate touch here very reminiscent of his other work. Hercules and Love Affair seem destined for big things - BlackPlastic cannot wait to see the mainstream reaction to a record so fresh and different, yet so approachable and enjoyable.

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