Hercules & Love Affair Import
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Top Customer Reviews
Featuring the haunting mournful vocals of Antony Hegarty (from Antony & The johnsons) on most tracks, the group's eponymous debut features just 10 tracks, but each is outstanding, from more sombre opening cut "Time will", to the horn filled largely instrumental "Hercules' theme" (which reminds me a bit of eighties UK group Imagination).
Other upbeat numbers are the keyboard adorned "Athene", the very disco-ish "Blind", the throbbing horn-filled "This is my love" (with a Jazzy feel and spoken/sung vocals from DJ Andy Butler), the incredibly catchy "Raise me up", and closing cut "True false, fake real" (great percussion and a capella singing). "Iris" and "Easy" take the tempo down, both are subdued atmospheric numbers.
My favourite song is "You belong", which is House/Disco with a razor sharp bubbly synth line. Incredibly catchy and very clubby.
From the glowing reviews I'd read about the album, I half feared it would be one of those arty albums that would be greatly admired but difficult to get into. Happily, its not the case with this clever, superb album which just gets better with each spin. A stellar debut!
But it sure makes for brilliant theatre. It's like looking at an abstract allegory of "sorrow" or "passion." The emotions are so exaggerated and decadent that they take on a classical quality. The album's use of the Greek theme (songs reference Hercules, Athena and Iris) is a very inspired touch -- Greek tragedy is basically made out of the same material. I even wish there were more of this. Just think what they could do with the story of Achilles!
It might take a couple of listens to see just how dark the album is, since it is very fast-paced and partially rooted in hedonistic disco music. Even the slower songs have a very firm, up-tempo rhythmic backbone. Nonetheless, of all the songs, only "Hercules Theme" sounds jaunty and cheerful, and the vocalist's sexy mewling actually sounds like fun. Everywhere else, though, there is no salvation in sensuality.Read more ›
I'll admit that my favorite songs are the singles- "Hercules Theme", "Blind" and "You Belong" are all where I think the group hits their stride, rocking with stupendous momentum over flawless disco basslines and airtight brass garnishes. About half the album operates at a slower pace, and I find my attention sometimes wanders during songs like "Iris" which lack the vitality of the more anthem-y tunes. I also cannot get into Kim Ann Foxman's singing. She's certainly not a bad singer, but after Antony blazing through something like "Blind" and Nomi Ruiz' performance on "You Belong", as heartbreaking as it is sensual, Kim Ann's low key murmur doesn't quite have the same vitality.
There is a definite energy behind "Blind" especially, one of those rare songs that seems to have taken on a life of its own in the hands of its creators.Read more ›
Those expecting the sounds of Chic, Seventies-Era Bee Gees and Donna Summer will be slightly disappointed because Hercules and Love Affair have updated the sounds of disco into something new by incorporating modern synths and effects as well as offbeat rhythms including some dub sounds. The majority of songs on this album belong on the dancefloor although two slow electronic songs creep in (Iris, Easy). Standout tracks include: "Blind," "You Belong" and the funky "Athene."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
if you merge aspects of Kid creole and the Coconuts, Michael Jackson and chic then you are tapping this band and its real cool and its catchy in places and i dig some of the lyrics... Read morePublished on June 2, 2014 by MAXIMILLIAN MUHAMMAD
New music, great songs and a way to see what other not well known artists sounds like. I greatly enjoy itPublished on April 19, 2013 by O. Ibarra
This group was a random find for me on Pandora. I instantly fell in love with the smooth voice of the lead male singer. Catchy beats and interesting songs fill this CD. Read morePublished on June 24, 2012 by Apogree
I love it, it is an excellent purchase and cheap, they deliver the CD in just 2 days, great price and service.Published on February 13, 2012 by Leon
I purchased this CD after seeing it listed in several KEXP DJs Top Albums of 2008 lists, and I have to say, I have not been let down. Read morePublished on February 21, 2009 by Antoinette Haste
I'm a lover of house and dance music and I'm always on the look out for something new. Though I was a little late jumping on board with this group they've struct a chord with me. Read morePublished on February 16, 2009 by A. Johnson
H&LA really has suprised me. It's got a good beat and I can dance to it. Also, I like both the male and female voices that make up the band. It was definitely worth buying.Published on January 22, 2009 by 2antinous
I must be immune to the alien mind rays that this, ahem, "music" emits that makes people think it's good. Read morePublished on January 8, 2009 by MBShick
Everything sucks on this album. Who told Antony that he can sing? Andrew is not too far behind. The Girl, I can tolerate a bit. Ok Disco part. The worst. Read morePublished on December 3, 2008 by Nil