Open main menu

Hercules and Love Affair is the debut studio album by American electronic music band Hercules and Love Affair, released on March 10, 2008 by DFA Records. The album was produced by Andrew Butler and Tim Goldsworthy. Andrew Raposo (of fellow DFA band Automato) and Tyler Pope (of !!!) contributed bass to the album,[1] while Anohni co-wrote and performed vocals on select songs.

Hercules and Love Affair
Hercules and Love Affair (album).png
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 10, 2008 (2008-03-10)
Hercules and Love Affair chronology
Hercules and Love Affair
Blue Songs
Singles from Hercules and Love Affair
  1. "Blind"
    Released: March 3, 2008
  2. "You Belong"
    Released: July 7, 2008



Most reviewers comment on the album's musical style as an homage to or re-imagining of disco and classic house music. Fact Magazine dubbed the album's style "a pulsating, glamorous, elegiac mix of classic disco influences, live instrumentation and modernist, mind-spangling electronic production."[2] Similarly, The Daily Telegraph critic Bernadette McNulty dubs the music "d-i-s-c-o in its seventies glory" into which "Butler weaves [...] fractured Chicago house beats and pulsing synths," going on to refer to the overall style of the album as "a tableau of beautiful, dysphoric disco visions."[3] The Guardian also describes the music in the same terms, commenting "it sounds like proper late-70s disco. Not the camp glitterball retro electro-pop of Kylie circa 'Spinning Round', but actual underground disco, like something long-lost from the vaults of The Loft or the Paradise Garage, real 1977–78 vintage stuff."[4] However, while most focus on the obvious musical debt to disco, some critics highlight the album's eclectic range of styles, such as Eddy Lawrence, for whom the album "has dark, psychedelic moments, such as the downbeat, mildly menacing, almost Congotronic 'Easy' alongside outright funky party stuff like 'You Belong'."[5] Butler himself describes the album's musical approach thus:

I always say it's a rhythmic, artsy kind of pop music that was made with classic dance and electronic music in mind. It has a lot of vocals and is rooted in my childhood.[2]

The album's first single "Blind", co-written and featuring vocals by Anohni, was released on March 3, 2008 and reached number forty on the UK Singles Chart.[6] The NME called it a "stone-cold classic", going on to describe it as "the best kind of dance record: physical and emotional, euphorically happy and deeply, irredeemably sad. It clips along weightlessly; all disco bass, trumpets and rippling synthesiser, as Anohni, his voice like tears rolling down the cheeks of a beautiful 40-year-old woman, muses intoxicatingly on lost innocence and ageing." However, the magazine dismissed the song "You Belong" as "essentially just an old Chicago house tune given a digital spit'n'polish."[7] The music video for "Blind" was directed by London-based Saam and features English actress Jamie Winstone walking through clouds of smoke. Pitchfork described the video as a "bacchanalian orgy tak[ing] place all around [Winstone], hearkening back to the pre-AIDS days of disco and places like the Continental Baths, where Larry Levan DJed and which advertisers promoted as recalling 'the glory of ancient Rome'."[8]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic     [10]
The A.V. ClubB[11]
The Guardian     [12]
Mojo     [13]
The Observer     [14]
Q     [15]
Spin     [16]
The Times     [17]

Hercules and Love Affair received general acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 86, based on 31 reviews, which indicates "universal acclaim".[9] Fact magazine called it "a unique, deeply satisfying and insanely catchy piece of work."[2] Dan Weiss of The Village Voice praised its "glorious funkscapes".[18] Pitchfork's Philip Sherburne awarded the album 9.1/10, and described it as "Lush, melancholic, gregarious, generous, both precise and a little bit unhinged" before going on to proclaim "this is the most original American dance album in a long while."[1] Pitchfork named "Blind" the best song of 2008 and placed it at number eighteen on the website's list of The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s,[19][20] while the album itself was ranked number 132 on their list of the top 200 albums of the 2000s.[21] Paul Flynn of The Observer awarded the album a maximum five stars, commenting that it "concentrates on the musicality of the [disco] genre and leaves the cliches for dust," adding "it is as sweaty, raw and meaningful as the first 12-inch singles that were spun at NY lofts."[14]

The Guardian critic Alexis Petridis was slightly more skeptical, finding the album's first side to be "tremendous fun", but - as a result of its being confined to genre revivalism - to possess "an air of pointlessness". However, he deemed the inclusion of Hegarty's melancholic vocals in the disco setting to be "inspired," and praised the album's "far more inventive second half [,as] its atmosphere shifts from touchy-feely warmth to queasy unease to deep melancholy, as if the authors keep being jolted from their nostalgic musical reverie by the thought of how horribly it all ended."[12]

The single "Blind" was included at number two on Entertainment Weekly's list of the 10 Best Singles of 2008.[22]

Track listingEdit

1."Time Will"
2."Hercules Theme"
3."You Belong"
  • Butler
  • Anohni
  • Butler
  • Ahnoni
  • Butler
  • Anohni
8."This Is My Love"Butler4:58
9."Raise Me Up"
  • Butler
  • Anohni
10."True/False, Fake/Real"Butler4:33
Total length:46:29


Credits adapted from the liner notes of Hercules and Love Affair.[25]

Hercules and Love Affair
  • Andrew Butler – production (all tracks); keyboards (tracks 1, 3, 7, 8, 10); marimba (track 6); vocals (tracks 8, 10)
  • Anohni – vocals (tracks 1, 5, 7–9); additional production (tracks 1, 5, 9); additional vocals (track 3)
  • Kim Ann Foxman – vocals (tracks 4, 6, 10)
  • Nomi – vocals (tracks 2, 3)
  • Andrew Raposo – bass (tracks 2, 8–10)
  • Morgan Wiley – keyboards (tracks 2, 4, 5, 8, 9)
  • Carter Yasutaki – trumpet (tracks 2, 6, 8, 9)
Additional personnel


Release historyEdit

Region Date Label
France[37] March 10, 2008 EMI
United Kingdom[38] DFA Records
Germany[39] March 14, 2008 Parlophone
Italy[40] EMI
Australia[41] March 28, 2008
United States[23] June 24, 2008 Mute Records


  1. ^ a b c Sherburne, Philip (March 12, 2008). "Hercules and Love Affair: Hercules and Love Affair". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c McGillivray, Will (January 2008). "Hercules & Love Affair". Fact. Archived from the original on March 24, 2008. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  3. ^ McNulty, Bernadette (March 8, 2008). "Pop CDs: Hercules & Love Affair, Dolly Parton and more..." The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  4. ^ Lester, Paul (January 8, 2008). "No 251: Hercules & Love Affair". The Guardian. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  5. ^ Lawrence, Eddy (March 3, 2008). "Hercules And Love Affair: interview". Time Out London. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  6. ^ "Hercules & Love Affair". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Hercules And Love Affair". NME. IPC Media. February 21, 2008. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  8. ^ Hogan, Marc (January 25, 2008). "Video: Hercules & Love Affair [ft. Antony]: "Blind"". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on March 3, 2009. Retrieved February 1, 2007.
  9. ^ a b "Reviews for Hercules And Love Affair by Hercules & Love Affair". Metacritic. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  10. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Hercules & Love Affair – Hercules & Love Affair". AllMusic. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  11. ^ Battaglia, Andy (June 23, 2008). "Hercules And Love Affair: Hercules And Love Affair". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Petridis, Alexis (March 7, 2008). "Hercules and Love Affair, Hercules and Love Affair". The Guardian. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  13. ^ "Hercules and Love Affair: Hercules and Love Affair". Mojo (173): 105. April 2008.
  14. ^ a b Flynn, Paul (February 17, 2008). "Hercules and Love Affair, Hercules and Love Affair". The Observer. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  15. ^ "Hercules and Love Affair: Hercules and Love Affair". Q (261): 110. April 2008.
  16. ^ Walters, Barry (June 2008). "Dance the Pain Away". Spin. 24 (6): 116. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  17. ^ Jelbert, Steve (March 8, 2008). "Hercules and Love Affair: Hercules and Love Affair". The Times. Archived from the original on May 17, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  18. ^ Weiss, Dan (March 11, 2008). "Hercules & Love Affair". The Village Voice. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  19. ^ "The 100 Best Tracks of 2008". Pitchfork. December 15, 2008. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  20. ^ "The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s: 20–1". Pitchfork. August 21, 2009. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  21. ^ "The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 150–101". Pitchfork. September 29, 2009. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  22. ^ Greenblatt, Leah; Vozick-Levinson, Simon (December 18, 2008). "10 Best Singles of 2008". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  23. ^ a b "Hercules & Love Affair". Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  24. ^ "Hercules and Love Affair by Hercules and Love Affair". iTunes Store US. Apple. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  25. ^ Hercules and Love Affair (CD liner notes). Hercules and Love Affair. DFA Records. 2008. 5099920811020.CS1 maint: others (link)
  26. ^ a b "Hercules And Love Affair – Hercules And Love Affair" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
  27. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. 120 (13). March 29, 2008. ISSN 0006-2510.
  28. ^ "Hercules And Love Affair – Hercules And Love Affair" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  29. ^ "Top 75 Artist Album, Week Ending 13 March 2008". Chart-Track. Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  30. ^ "Album – Classifica settimanale WK 19 (dal 28-04-2008 al 04-05-2008)" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  31. ^ "Hercules And Love Affair – Hercules And Love Affair". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on May 7, 2014. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  32. ^ "Hercules And Love Affair – Hercules And Love Affair". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on April 27, 2014. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  33. ^ "Hercules And Love Affair – Hercules And Love Affair". Hung Medien. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  34. ^ "2008 Top 40 Official Albums Chart UK Archive". Official Charts Company. March 22, 2008. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  35. ^ "The Billboard 200". Billboard. 120 (28): 39. July 12, 2008. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  36. ^ a b "Hercules & Love Affair – Hercules & Love Affair | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  37. ^ "Hercules and Love Affair – Hercules And Love Affair" (in French). Fnac. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  38. ^ "Hercules And Love Affair". Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  39. ^ "Hercules and Love Affair" (in German). Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  40. ^ "Hercules and Love Affair – Hercules and Love Affair" (in Italian). IBS. Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  41. ^ "Hercules And Love Affair – Hercules and Love Affair". JB Hi-Fi. Archived from the original on November 8, 2012. Retrieved April 26, 2014.