There’s not much more of an apt album name to the music contained within it than the new NZCA LINES album Pure Luxury. Michael Lovett’s third record under the NZCA LINES name is on the surface a cornucopia of smooth disco and soul music that is guaranteed to get you moving but dig deeper and the London based songwriter is aiming for something more. The songs contained within the record jump from such topics as environmental decay and recent political upheaval but these are all filtered through an impeccable dance floor ready production that would make Prince proud.
The record kicks off with its namesake and some genuinely rump shaking drum grooves. It’s all synth bass and heightened vocal melodies. When the chorus hits, “So, Lock Me In Your Ivory Tower” with enough vocal modulation to make any 70s funk aficionado proud, it’s positively captivating. The proceedings rarely let up from there. “Real Good Time” is exactly that. Bubbling, bouncy bass lines float around Lovett’s honey drenched falsetto while the driving beat keeps your head bopping. As a touring member of Metronomy and Christine and The Queens, Lovett has copious experience with making you groove and that experience gets put to the test with “Prisoner Of Love”. A lament about a one sided relationship that will make you absolutely cry sing your way through to the songs infectious chorus. “Opening Night” echoes an 80s R&B vibe. Think something along the lines of DeBarge and Terence Trent D’arby. It’s actually really impressive that Lovett can take these influences, pay respect to them but also craft something that sounds still forward thinking and original. By the time we get to the album closer “Tonight Is All That Really Matters” the records lean running time of 38 minutes has flown by in a flash of neon and sweat.
The world is in a state of transformation at the moment. There are so many very real issues that are consuming the globe and while we all deal with it in any way that we possibly can, it’s nice to have something like NZCA LINE’s Pure Luxury to not only act as a distraction but also to hopefully be something that can bring us together. One nation under a groove, leading us into a future where nothing can stop us at all.
review by Adam Fink