Personnel: Jimmy Somerville (vocals); Colin Smith (guitar, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, piano, Fender Rhodes piano); Warren Zielinski, Alison Dodds, Richard George, Kate Robinson, Rick Koster, Frances Dewar, Tom Piggott-Smith, Ian Humphries, Everton Nelson, Sonia Slany (violin); Ian Burdge, Chris Worsey (cello); Andy Gibson , Sid Gauld (trumpet, flugelhorn); Michael Kearsey (trombone); John Winfield (piano, Fender Rhodes piano, synthesizer); Baby N'sola, Janelle Martin, Nims Miller (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Manfred Faust.
Recording information: Air Studios, London.
Photographer: Katrin Donig.
Jimmy Somerville has spent a fair amount of time singing classic disco songs, but his 2015 album Homage isn't a collection of covers. Rather, it's a trickier kind of tribute: a bunch of new tunes arranged to sound as if they were released at the height of disco. This concept is high-risk but if anybody can pull it off it's Somerville and co-producer John Winfield, who make the smart move of pouring considerable energy into constructing the surface without neglecting the songs that lie at the record's foundation. Although the songs are substantive, what impresses first on Homage is its sound. Gleaming, lush, and luxe, it is an album that invites total immersion. It rewards a close listen -- it's fun to play spot the influence but more rewarding to focus on the craft -- but the best thing about Homage is that it so accurately replicates the feeling of prime disco that it winds up being a hell of a party record. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine