Hercules & Love Affair: The Feast of the Broken Heart

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Posted June 27, 2014 by in Disco
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Rating

Overall
 
 
 
 
 

3.5/ 5

Details

Genre: ,
 
Producer: , ,
 
Label:
 
 
 
 
Genre: Electronica, house, dance
 
Producer: Andrew Butler, Mark Pistol, Ha-Ze Factory
 
Label: Atlantic, Big Beat
 
Format: Digital download, compact disc
 
Time: 44:15
 
Release Date: 26 May 2014
 
Spin This: "My Offence," "That's Not Me," "I Try to Talk to You"
 

Pros:

Great dance beats, versatile solos and sweet retro-to-neutro progression liven up Hercules's 2014 set
 

Cons:

Two slower-paced tracks offer very little to the package; time length short in stature
 

House beats bang hard on Hercules & Love Affair’s highly-anticipated follow-up to 2012’s DJ-Kicks.

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

House beats bang hard on Hercules & Love Affair’s highly-anticipated follow-up to 2012’s DJ-Kicks

DJ Andy Butler and his funky dancefloor brigade (known collectively as Hercules & Love Affair) are important cheerleaders of the neo-house movement. Hitting it big with their self-titled debut in 2008 and its lead track (“Blind”), Hercules & Love Affair made it their lifelong goal to put house back into the mainstream conversation. Their hot contribution to the DJ-Kicks series, beautified with bass-pounding ‘90’s New Jack Swing, would have been an contender for Best Album of 2013 had it been an album and not a mixtape.

Now aligning with Atlantic Records, Butler and Company have dropped their third album, The Feast of the Broken Heart. According to an early press release, they wanted to start fresh and without a specific template. Other than the drab electro-driven sounds and the Texas Instruments voice overdubs on the three-minute instrumental opener (“Hercules Theme 2014”), the rest of the album is pretty contagious to the nightlife. Like a glorified Crystal Waters track, “My Offence” bounces into the rafters with the aid of Krystle Warren’s confident vocals. “Are you talking to me/My name isn’t Girl!,” Warren warns her prey before eating them up with the verse’s closing lines: “I’m a barrel of life/ I come too far from the dead/ I was told to be for you to make a bitch out of me.” “I Try to Talk to You” is just as impressive. This one dresses up in concert piano vibes and finds lead vocalist John Grant improving on Right Said Fred’s machismo. Tracks like “That’s Not Me” and “5:43 to Freedom” (sporting the cool chant “Be myself like there ain’t nobody”) strengthen the uptempo mold of the disc. And there’s “The Light” and “Do You Feel the Same,” which both shimmer in the ambience of garage house akin back to Todd Terry. There are a few disingenuous laidback mood makers (“Think,” “The Key”) that are used as necessary transitional inserts, but fail when meshed up against the album’s heavier material.

Still, The Feast has more victories than punishments. The production value of Butler with Mark Pistel and the cast of versatile singers – featuring Belgian singer Gustaph and the Prince/Sylvester-sounding Rouge Mary – seem to work together to give help give Hercules enough muscle to flex. It’s a relatively short disc, but manages to get the job done – at least for today.

 


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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