If there are then In Amber will be an instructive listen. There's no doubt the fifth album under the Hercules and Love Affair banner marks a break with the past but it makes its move in a way that, while dramatic, feels totally natural and necessary when you consider the subject matter. Single "Grace" demonstrates the scope of the album in microcosm - beginning with a little of The National's gaunt severity before giving way to a jaunty keyboard line and a gorgeous New Order-esque section with spine tingling backing vocals from Icelander Elin Ey.
Disco beats and poppy lyrics are replaced by something more rootsy, abrasive, and confrontational on Andy Butler's latest Hercules And Love Affair always was a more flexible project than most, its only permanent member being Andy Butler, and so it proves with In Amber. Gone are the disco beats and poppy lyrics, and in their place is something more rootsy, abrasive, and confrontational. Longtime affiliate Anohni contributes her evocative vocals to about half of the album's songs, including the poetically defiant Christian Prayers and the snarling Contempt For You ("this body is a place / that has never been loved / sure, I'm glad I survived / but I've got nothing but contempt for you").