Oh, but of course, the difficult second album. Hercules & Love Affair make short shrift of the music hack's go-to line with this impressive follow up to 2008's eponymous debut. Shorn of original H&LA affair members Antony Hegarty and Tim Goldsworthy, it's a markedly different album for Andy Butler's project. Lead single "My House" perhaps is a sonic and literal hint that Butler is intent on exploring rawer house sounds, something that is most obviously evident on his new label Mr International. Hercules & Love Affair, however, continues to have an overwhelming disco element, with the "Answers Come In Dreams" sounding like a sonic love letter to Grace Jones. "Blue Songs" opens up the second side of the gatefold vinyl and provides a blissful downbeat moment replete with contemplative wood winds and chimes, while the synth heavy "Step Up", featuring Kele from Bloc Party, proves to be one of the album's high points.
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