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Homage: Jimmy Somerville throws an epic disco party

BY DREW Rowsome

Whoever thought that the heir to Sylvester would be a skinny "Smalltown Boy" from Scotland? 

Jimmy Somerville's Homage is pure campy exuberant fun. A loving salute to the days of disco, Homage is packed with surging strings, syncopated punchy horns, layer upon layer of backing vocals, and Somerville's angelic voice soaring above it all. The lyrics are simple, heartfelt and wedded tightly to catchy hooks that will have you singing along during the first listen. "Disco sucks," snobs will be appalled but everyone else will be too busy dancing. Four consecutive listens in, I still could not resist the urge to get up from the desk and shake my booty.

Somerville's output has been spotty - though Dare to Love had moments of brilliance (see the video for "Heartbeat" below) - since his chart-topping times with Bronski Beat and The Communards. Personal troubles and crippling self-doubt lead him to step away from the public eye and we should be grateful that whatever transpired during that time resulted in the creation of Homage, an utterly joyful celebration of love, disco beats and everything gay.

There are numerous Pride-worthy anthems on Homage with "Freak" being my personal nomination for the song that most encapsulates the spirit of Pride and the gay experience:

I need a freak of a man to understand
I need a freak of a man to be mine
Expect to hear the remixes, of which there are already many, endlessly come June.

This video captures the mood of Homage perfectly:
This is not the song I would have chosen as the first single but the first video is for lead track "Some Wonder."
And just for old times sake, "Heartbeat" from Dare to Love.