Someone's clearly in love with the sounds of the ‘80s. Listening to Lovelock's Burning Feeling, I started to think that at any moment the lights might dim and a glittering discoball would flood the room with coloured lights. Steve Moore (aka Zombi, Gianni Rossi, and now Lovelock) isn't shy about his love of disco and ‘80s production sounds (analog synth blaze and heavy electronic drumming, foremost among them), so if you've had the soundtrack to Drive on repeat play in your head chances are Burning Feeling will have pretty much the same effect. Issued on Prins Thomas's Internasjonal label, Lovelock's release is less space-disco (the clear exception the synth-heavy “New Age of Christ,” especially when it uses a prototypical disco bass pulse for fuel) and more chrome-plated, disco-influenced synth-pop, the work of someone with production skills fully up-to-date but whose sensibility harks back to the era of New Romantics and Miami Vice. Had I not known otherwise, I might have mistaken the instrumental break in the first song for a lost Duran Duran run-through of “The Reflex,” of all things.
Unfortunately, some of the album is dragged down by tracks that embrace that ‘80s sound so fervently, they verge on cheesy or schlock. The album's opening track, “Burning Feeling,” promises much in starting out as an epic instrumental but takes a downward plunge the moment the histrionic lead vocal enters, a move that gives the song about as much subtlety as a Bonnie Tyler or Meatloaf ballad. Lyrically “Don't Turn Away (From My Love)” verges on embarrassing, which is a shame given that the song's otherwise palatable enough, instrumentally speaking. Presented with song titles like “Love Reaction,” the listener begins to think that maybe the whole thing's a put-on, even though Moore seems serious enough.
Thankfully, such lapses in taste are somewhat redeemed by a number of songs that are so splendid, they make up for the occasional lapses. Though a vocal cut, too, “Maybe Tonight” nevertheless impresses for overlaying effervescent disco swing with vocal melodies that are both soulful and soaring (even here, however, the song is almost derailed by the inclusion of a guitar solo). As per its title, “South Beach Sunrise” conjures a mood of romantic melancholy that's hard to resist, especially when Moore makes a swooning saxophone the central voice within the luscious, piano-and-synths-heavy setting. Moore isn't shy about showing his roots either. Not only does the presumed homage “The Fog” play like some lost John Carpenter soundtrack, but it also, of course, shares its title with one of his earliest films.