It’s been a while since Hemisphere passed through the airwaves of the office, I’d almost forgotten how gloriously joyous, upbeat, and generally life-affirming their music was. Almost. It was American Dreams that first introduced me to a sound that I described variously as wide-ranging, eclectic, funky and timeless. And Unity is still all of those things…and perhaps more.
It is an album which seems to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Steely Dan, a band who similarly favoured virtuosity over all things, who ranged through everything from jazz to rock to folk to funk to…well, anything that took their fancy, to make musical magic.
There are songs such as Bring The Magic Back which are straight out of their chilled and seductive West Coast playbook, there is Latin-infused chamber pop in the form of Mr Moonbeam and there is gorgeous AOR rock with Laura in the Moonlight, all garnished with supple and subtle music and motifs. There is even room for a reggae take of Bowie’s Rebel Rebel!
American Dreams was a great album but somehow the benchmarks have been well and truly raised. The only question is, how are they going to top this? Watch this space.