Hercules & Love Affair - You Belong - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Hercules & Love Affair - You Belong

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

While label-mates LCD Soundsystem are busy constructing music studded with achingly cool reference points, joining the dots in a constellation of dance classics and punk trailblazers, Hercules and Love Affair concern themselves with counting the cost of lives lived on the dancefloor, the taxi rank and the club toilets, and acted out through endless transitory contacts, half-remembered smudges of conversation and brief, collapsing love affairs. Just like Pet Shop Boys did in the 80s, Hercules' music gives some small measure of humanity to these dry ice wraiths and attempts to explain where they go when we assume they stop existing.

Undulating forward on a late 80s house rhythm that would do A Guy Called Gerald proud, 'You Belong' is like a sister to the group's first single 'Blind'. Lights are again mentioned, once more granted the power to bewitch and distort the senses. Singer Nomi Ruiz spends the verses in a state of dreamlike bliss, aware only of the enveloping light, before snapping back to focus for the chorus: "You belong to him tonight/ There is nothing I can do," she sings mournfully. But how well does she even know these people? Backing singer Anthony Haggerty surfaces, chanting the title remorselessly, mockingly, and the question becomes what exactly is it Nomi is mourning in this scene? Is it the lover she has apparently lost? Or has she simply recognised a connection, the forming of a sense of belonging between two people, which she understands she cannot share in, even if its lifespan is only tonight. Just like in 'Blind', she ends the song ruing the myopia brought on by too long gazing into the light.

Just a fever dream, bad drug, bad night, whatever. Keep dancing, it'll wear off.

Richard Morris

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