Anyone who's engaged disco with the same depth and seriousness that Hercules & Love Affair ringmaster Andrew Butler has, knows that by its nature and at its finest, this is a music of balances made in the spirit of losing one's balance. And among disco's glories is how these contrasting fundamentals play out: the celebratory and the elegiac, the social politics and personal emotions, pop songwriting and club functionality, the traditionally soulful and the technologically modern.
This isn't an album that houses the joyous hop of "Moment of My Life," and it doesn't contain the towering triumph of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" either, but Inner Life's I'm Caught Up (In a One Night Love Affair) is an immensely enjoyable full-length – one of the Prelude label's finer moments despite its low profile.
Bring together an all-star lineup of singers and musicians, match them with accessibly romantic melodies and radio-friendly arrangements, and the results will either be lightweight pabulum or superb high-quality pop music. In the case of producer Jason Miles' A Love Affair, it's unquestionably the latter. Even after 30 years on the world music scene, Brazilian musician/composer Ivan Lins may not have had a high profile. However, as this tribute recording demonstrates, his music is as fine as anything that has come out of his native country since the bossa nova heyday of the early '60s. Taken individually, each of these songs is a piece of joyous musical exuberance. Taken as a whole, this recording is better than an hour with any radio station you're going to find on the dial or online.
French Funk band The Headbangers have got what it takes to get your body moving as they demonstrate a love affair with the most entertaining aspects of Funk in festive songs which showcase their showstopping instrumentation. Walking the line between horn-driven jams in their vein of The JB's, doses of modern Pop, Rock and 70's Jazz-Funk fusion in the vein of Pleasure, The Headbangers leave their own impression in a new wave of Funk songwriting and performance which delights in it's degree of energy.