Album Review: Jimmy Somerville – Homage2 min read
Scottish singer/songwriter Jimmy Somerville is back, since the release of his 2012 EP trilogy (Bright Thing, Momentum and Solent), he teased us with the single release of Back To Me and Travesty last year to set the mood; his new album is called Homage, it’s a disco album inspired by the genre of disco music that Somerville grew up with, he describes it as the disco album he’s always wanted to make.
Some Wonder has high and low moments, it’s an overall catchy feel good tune, but at times you couldn’t help but question the quality of the sometimes seemingly strained vocal; all is forgiven though with Strong Enough which definitely gives you that 70s disco atmosphere, Somerville’s vocal compliments the smooth tone. The strings and keys are what make Freak a stand out, the steady beat and Jimmy’s long running knack for singing falsetto are also commendable; the problem with disco is after a while it becomes repetitive, while Taken Away is just as catchy and exciting as its predecessors, it stays put and doesn’t stand out on its own. Back To Me is a little edgier, its chorus brings forth a sharper delivery over a predictable airy performance; Somerville shows he can do a little disco/funk with The Core, a slightly slower number which allows for you to take in the snappy bass line and intriguing guitars.
The brass introduces Travesty with much excitement and to a chorus of ‘ah’s’, one of the most appealing intros on the album so far, this track remains catchy throughout its entirety; Bright Thing is different, it had the potential to be another upbeat and over the top number, but instead the vocal remains chanty and put something fresh and unexpected on the table. Lights Are Shining is ok, it has a repetitive chorus and outro, but is still catchy nonetheless; This Hand doesn’t bring any new surprises to the album, it stays true to the disco theme but leaves you yearning for something more. The arrangement for Overload sounds like a track The Jacksons would record with its addictive bass and guitar lines, plus its radical trumpet part that reels you in; we are treated to a nice ballad, Learned To Talk wraps up the album on a lighter note.
Jimmy Somerville brings disco back with Homage, allowing for fanatics to jump back on the disco train with ease. There were times when the album became a bit repetitive, but looking back on the disco era it’s no different; there was always the hum of the strings, the funky bass line, the airy vocals and the feel good beat. Homage is a great dedication to an era Jimmy keeps close to his heart, and it’s great that the singer got to live the dream and record his own disco album, overall it was a catchy listen and should raise the spirits of those who love this music.