Blue Songs - Hercules and Love Affair
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Aug 19, 2011
    80
    It's filled with memorable, exceptionally played and produced electronic pop songs that are off-center yet targeted squarely at the heart.
  2. Apr 28, 2011
    80
    Blue Songs nevertheless presents a level of poetic inventiveness that isn't easy to trace in the dance pantheon.
  3. Feb 23, 2011
    80
    Blue Songs journeys as great LPS should do. [Feb 2011, p.89]
  4. Feb 14, 2011
    80
    Hercules and Love Affair have vaulted over any second album worries with a jubilant and celebratory collection of large tunes.
  5. Feb 23, 2011
    75
    On Blue Songs, Hegarty is gone and Butler, following in the grand tradition of dance music about dance music's power to liberate, fixates on defeating the tyranny of neurosis.
  6. Oct 24, 2011
    70
    Blue Songs has impressive diversity and variety.
  7. Aug 16, 2011
    70
    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.
  8. Aug 16, 2011
    70
    Blue Songs may not have an incredible single, but it does give you a collection of 11 solid songs.
  9. Aug 3, 2011
    70
    Blue Songs' prevailing mood is deep indigo, not ultraviolet, yet that darkness heightens and complicates.
  10. Feb 23, 2011
    70
    Blue Songs finds Butler and his crew of collaborators laying back to a place where the dance floor can be as much a place for ethereal contemplation as it is for unrepentant debauchery.
  11. If H&LA's 2008 debut was an ideal accompaniment to the clubland chaos, then Blue Songs is the gentlest of comedowns.
  12. Feb 14, 2011
    70
    Ultimately, it's an enjoyable record, but one that's more likely to point you in the direction of their original influences than achieve notability in its own right.
  13. Feb 14, 2011
    70
    Hercules have furthered their ambitions on Blue Songs, drawing more of the late-great disco scene into a modern vehicle. Yet it's an album that does many things well but nothing to perfection.
  14. Feb 14, 2011
    70
    it is pretty much the same thing we all loved from Hercules and Love Affair. Does that mean this album is bad? No, it's fabulous. There was just no risk, no movement.
  15. Feb 14, 2011
    66
    So much of the album is straining to be more than just an homage to the club sounds of the late 80s that it ends up being a bit less.
  16. Feb 14, 2011
    63
    The album stutters heavily in the middle. Hercules are a 12-inch outfit, and "Boy Blue" and "Blue Song" are failed attempts at varying the mood with some despondency. As if they wanted to make Blue Songs more than a collection of singles, which it isn't.
  17. Aug 19, 2011
    60
    His arrangements sometimes outshine his melodies and lyrics, though. Whereas the first album packed an emotional wallop, the enjoyment of this one is in its details.
  18. Aug 17, 2011
    60
    A lot of the miffed disappointment could come from the fact that Butler pulled the rug out from under his solidified, circa-2008 sound, but if nothing else the new incarnation is a lot harder to fall in love wit
  19. Aug 17, 2011
    60
    Maybe Butler was aiming higher than simply "dance music." A laudable ambition, but one that sadly isn't matched by the content of Blue Songs.
  20. Aug 16, 2011
    60
    Like Arthur Russell, the late disco visionary whose work his music recalls, Andy Butler makes club jams that transcend the club.
  21. Apr 4, 2011
    60
    While there's an invigorating charm to Blue Songs, you're left concluding that it lacks its predecessor's USP. [Feb 2011, p.108]
  22. Mar 1, 2011
    60
    The conveyor belt of vocalists means an album-long identity crisis, but there are good things here. [Feb 2011, p.117]
  23. Feb 14, 2011
    60
    Given that it's for dancing, Butler's production tends toward the cool--even plodding--but his polishing up of 20-year-old stylistic tics still entertains.
  24. Feb 14, 2011
    60
    what's missing is that nagging vocal that hovers somewhere between sublime and corrosive, as so many of the great performances in dance music have.
  25. Aug 22, 2011
    58
    Blue Songs is a sophisticated and club-ready sophomore effort, even if--at times--it nearly crumbles under the weight of its own decadence and self-indulgences.
  26. The entire album seems either completely uninspired or absolutely rushed.
  27. 50
    Even a few shiny remixes can't save a floundering sophomore album like this one.
  28. Feb 14, 2011
    40
    Its successor, Blue Songs, is also composed of immaculately produced house and disco, but the two most charismatic vocalists from the last go-round, Antony Hegarty and Nomi Ruiz, are absent – as, for the most part, are the songs.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Oct 23, 2011
    4
    Hercules and Love Affair are the people responsible for one of the greatest albums of 2008 and the best debut of that year. Itâ
  2. Aug 17, 2011
    7
    This album is definitely an album that fits well outside of the club. Andy Butler has a great musical mind that goes beyond one type of music. The Most interesting song from this album has probably got to be the song "step up" but the different vocalists all sound great as well. It gets a 7/10 from me because even though it was decent, it didn't push any musical boundaries or show us anything totally new or different. Full Review »