If you’re looking to plan a 1980’s themed dance party, have I got the album for you. I wish I was kidding, but I’m not. Hercules and Love Affair's contribution to the DJ Kicks series is a bonafide blast from the past, begging to be paired with finger waves, polka dots and all things dated. We’re talking corn and cheese, served up on a sonic platter.
So is the album that reminded me of my mom working out to Johnny Kemp’s, “Just Got Paid,” and “Haddaway’s, “What is Love,” good? I stepped into this review ready to say, hell no. But as I let it play in the background, I couldn’t help but nod my head and allow backspace to eat up my insults, and calm my criticisms.
The truth is, this album is stacked with jams for house-heads, aging club kids and anyone who has a penchant for Crystal Waters. From, Cloud 9's "Do You Want Me,” to the chanting, ethereal Z.A.M. - "Africa Freedom,” to the flamboyantly-named Fierce Ruling Diva's "Allemaal, Allemaal!” the album is pretty much just one long, non-stop dance party, and that--no matter how much of a music snob I am--I can’t hate.
But this won’t be for everyone because, well, not everyone likes to dance. At least not to...you know, dance music. But if you’re down to sweat out your up-doo and shrink your high-top fade (I can’t believe I’m typing this), you might want to give Hercules and Love Affair a shot. It’s functional, escapist, I-hate-my-job-and-live-for-my-weekends, music. And let’s admit it, that’s what most of us need.
Note: If you’re a tough guy, beware. I wouldn’t want you to start swaying to the beat, and get all insecure.
- Jason Reynolds