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Album Review

Electronic beats on ‘Blue Songs’ by Hercules & Love Affair

By Luke O’Neil
August 16, 2011

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The trend in electronic music has been to mix the hedonistic rhythms and neon beat of classic disco with a detached, indie aesthetic. Hercules & Love Affair mostly skip the postmodern irony here, sounding sincerely dorky enough to have arrived straight from the disco era. That’s both good and bad. “My House,’’ somehow already an international club hit, has a barely there beat and a boring soul-lite vocal line that devolves into annoying scatting. “Painted Eyes’’ fares better, with dramatic synth strings and a pleadingly romantic vocal. “Answers Come in Dreams’’ dirties up a club comedown reflection with biting funk. “Leonora’’ strikes a languid pose, conjuring a hazy summer block party circa 1982 New York. Meanwhile, Bloc Party’s Kele Orekeke stops by on “Step Up’’ to drag the effort further into the ’80s with a new wave disco effort. “I Can’t Wait,’’ with its glitchy cutups and ice-princess coo, brings the group into the current moment. (Out today)

ESSENTIAL “Painted Eyes’’

Hercules & Love Affair perform at the Identity Festival at the Comcast Center on Saturday.