Hercules and Love Affair
Hercules and Love Affair


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adam Downer STAFF
May 17th, 2008 | 51 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dance! Everybody Dance!

It may be 2008, but no one's told Andrew Butler. This New York DJ/Producer, under the pseudonym 'Hercules and Love Affair', likes to rock like it’s 1977, providing Carter administration survivors with some good material for nostalgic journeys into the days of bell bottoms, roller derbies, and the occasional Saturday Night Fever. With Hercules and Love Affair, Butler brings disco into the new millennium hard and strong. Disco is defined as “a style of popular music for dancing, usually recorded and with complex electronic instrumentation, in which simple, repetitive lyrics are subordinated to a heavy, pulsating, rhythmic beat”, and Butler sets out to deliver just that; not a bastardized “update” on the genre, but a proper record that nails every aspect of what gives disco the reputation as an insane guilty pleasure its garnered over time.

Disregard all the negative connotations associated with disco for a moment. This may be the same music that caused riots in Chicago ballparks in 1979 during the infamous “Disco Demolition Night” fiasco, but on the self titled debut, Hercules and Love Affair breaks down the genre to its original philosophy: "Only when you're dancing are you truly free." Sure to incite the occasional spasmodic Caucasian hump-dance, Hercules and Love Affair runs from start to finish unabashedly in groove-heaven, pimped out with horns, octave hopping bass-lines, and uhn-tiss-kaht-tiss beats out the wazoo. Featuring the more than capable voices of Antony (of “& the Johnsons” fame), solo siren Nomi, and the seductive tone of DJ Kim Ann, Butler's record sports ten consistently charming tracks that prove monstrously entertaining when taken both in small doses and huge gulps. Take for example the lead single “Blind”; laden with hooks and a layered lung stretching vocal performance from the male third of the vocal trio, “Blind” serves as an appropriate choice for lead single, introducing listeners to the Hercules and Love Affair sound with a pulsating beat that envelops as much as it grooves. Even at a deceptive six minutes long, “Blind” never grows tiring, instead providing seemingly endless amounts of dance-floor joy, perfectly embodying what Butler attempts to create with his Hercules and Love Affair experiment.

Butler doesn’t disappoint on the remainder of the record either, consistently delivering romps that would make the Bee Gees jealous. The pair of Greco-Roman themed tracks, “Hercules’ Theme” and “Athene”, are rev-ups of Butler’s delicious indulgences that provide appropriate theme songs to the characters who provide their respective namesakes. The former struts confidently like a half-god would (with an insanely catchy chorus), whereas “Athene”, named after the goddess of wisdom and fertility, uses Ann’s sly purr, syncopated electronics, and conga-heavy rhythms to underscore the sense of ridiculous power. Tracks such as these would be songs that lodge themselves into heads for days, but for each exceptionally captivating groove, there’s one equally as catchy later. “Hercules’ Theme” epitomizes what Hercules and Love Affair wants to be, with catchy danceable flows and oodles of hypnotic hooks, but “You Belong” stands equally as strong at the very next track, with tribal chants, plenty of Christopher Walken-endorsed percussion, and an ethereal performance from Antony that equate to 4 minutes of foot tapping pleasure. The first five tracks of the album are pure dynamite, with tracks like "Time Will" and "Blind" playing with Antony's voice like a kid with a new toy, and the aforementioned "Hercules' Theme" and Athene" providing the theme Hercules and Love Affair prefers to adopt without sacrificing the euphoric atmosphere the remainder of the record sits so comfortably in. The opening quintet exemplifies Hercules and Love Affair alone; danceable, fun, and even a little quirky, all the while providing an entertaining experience that begs to be heard.

While the loose Greek mythology concept introduced in “Hercules’ Theme” and “Athene” is abandoned for most of the album, the tone is not; each song in its own way carries a certain sense of confidence that is easy enough to relate to, providing a key aspect to Hercules and Love Affair’s charm: at its peak, the album is pure entertainment, a feel-good record that provides almost an hour’s worth of dance-hall bliss. The pacing of Hercules and Love Affair serves as one of the album’s few flaws –it feels like its winding down with half the record left to play- but there’s no denying the value of the record as a whole. Hercules and Love Affair is a killer work from Butler, an album not meant to break down any barriers or start a revolution. Yet in an age with 70’s soul revivals from the likes of Amy Winehouse and rock touch-ups from groups like Wolfmother and even The Strokes to an extent, Hercules and Love Affair throws in its hand as a revivalist for the 70’s most infamous genre with a record that can diagnose even the most jaded of modernists with a mild case of boogie fever.



Recent reviews by this author
Beach Slang Cheap Thrills On A Dead End StreetThe Men Tomorrow's Hits
Macintosh Plus FLORAL SHOPPEThe Dismemberment Plan Uncanney Valley
Justin Timberlake The 20/20 ExperienceThe Men New Moon
user ratings (76)
Chart.
3.6
great
trending other albums

You're Dead!

Syro

Our Love

Virgins

Comments:Add a Comment 
IsItLuck?
Emeritus
April 4th 2008


4927 Comments


cool review, however I didn't like their myspace song.

AggravatedYeti
April 4th 2008


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

good review, but what I've heard from this sounds like shit.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2008


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

you kids clearly don't like to dance.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

Doppelganger
April 4th 2008


3124 Comments


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdlMNbMdfSs

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
April 4th 2008


4927 Comments


I knew the summary was from rejected.

brandtweathers
April 4th 2008


2007 Comments


that video was oddly worth my time.
this is snappy stuff... i agree with the review because this might unhinge hips on some hipsters

ps !!!

plane
Staff Reviewer
April 4th 2008


6094 Comments


I didn't like this much. I find the tracks catchy and such, but it just feels oddly timid. Like weak versions of a livelier pop song.

brandtweathers
April 4th 2008


2007 Comments


^^i can see where you're coming from. it sounds better with good headphones though.

plug in some !!!
that's my dance music... even though they tour with tools

CatfishJones
April 4th 2008


24 Comments


kinda meh. it has its good parts. probably like a 2.5-3 for me.

jontheatheist
April 4th 2008


79 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Te production is off the charts. Sometimes the songs seam a bit timid. I don't know, this album really faded away fast. I haven't picked it up for weeks. It isn't no Sound of Silver. Tyler Pope's basslines are great though.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
April 4th 2008


3775 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hah, some of the melodies sound like their right out of Jame Murphy's sound catalog, I've only heard this once at a mates place, but i liked what i heard.

Digging: The Flaming Lips - With A Little Help From My Fwends

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2008


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

First metacritic nod, that's pretty cool :'). I didn't think they'd pickup on this considering it was released a few weeks ago.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2008


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

dictionary.com, actually.

I wiki'd disco demolition night though, because I remembered from a sportscenter some ridiculous promotion that ended unsurprisingly in riots.

Just wanted to do a little research to get a frame of reference.This Message Edited On 04.07.08

unretrovertigofied
April 10th 2008


220 Comments


Haven't heard it, but it is surely is a contender for both worst band name and worst cover art of the year.

zaki151
April 26th 2008


5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the more i listen to this album the better it gets. this has grown into a 5 for me

natey
May 8th 2008


4170 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

EC when you prescribed this band for me I thought you meant two separate bands "Hercules" and "Love Affair". I was shocked to hear prog-metal when I downloaded a "Hercules" album and played it in my car today...

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2008


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

are you gonna download this now? I'm not sure how you can dance to prog metal.This Message Edited On 05.08.08

natey
May 11th 2008


4170 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this is good. some songs are really great

Aficionado
June 24th 2008


1027 Comments


why is this featured

taylormemer
June 24th 2008


4917 Comments


That's a good question...



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy