Recordings | March 12, 2015

By Cait Brennan, March 12, 2015.

Jimmy Somerville


Membran Records |   

From Bronski Beat to the Communards to his illustrious solo career, Jimmy Somerville has laid it all on the line. With a soaring voice and a fearless heart, Somerville did what virtually nobody in the ‘80s dared: he was out, proud and sang true tales of gay life, like the

groundbreaking “Smalltown Boy,” to international acclaim. He also gave much love to the gay culture that inspired him, with grand, joyous covers of hits like Sylvester’s “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” and Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love.” With Homage, Somerville is back with an album that pays full tribute to the disco sound he grew up with.

“Some Wonder” announces itself with an old-school fanfare straight out of Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra, with strings, horns, and a solid ‘70s groove. These are organic, real sounds, not lame synth copies, and they demonstrate the analog care that went into the production. “Strong Enough” revives the funky beat of Vicki Sue Robinson’s “Turn The Beat Around,” while the atmospheric “Freak” goes for a late-night dancefloor vibe, all weary glamour and longing.

The rich, lush disco sound is flawless, and if you’re a classic disco fan, you’ll love it from start to finish. Somerville parks his legendary falsetto and breaks into a breathy baritone on “Bright Thing,” and crushes the soul ballad with the uplifting closer, “Learned To Talk,” which ends with a gigantic choral chant that’s guaranteed to generate goosebumps. Homage is Somerville’s passion project and it’s got a lot of heart.

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Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

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