The first edition of 'For the Love Of You' dropped in March 2020 and proved to be something of a runaway success. Curated by London lovers enthusiast and disc jockey, Sam Donnison, it captured a resurgent interest in a genre and offered a musical panacea for the tough times we found ourselves in. As a couple of the comments found on Discogs will attest, more than a few people found the record to be a soothing soundtrack to the thoroughly weird summer 2020 ended up being.
At a time when the world really felt like it was going to hell in a handbasket, it might have felt myopic to focus on the simple everyday pleasure and pain of human interaction, but don't these very things remind us of the importance of humanity itself? Lovers rock captures those feelings perfectly - it speaks clearly and honestly about human truths, stories as old as time. It's frank, straightforward, and taps into the commonality of people in love, falling in love, falling out of love. We've all been there, are there, want to be there, or get out of there. These are things we've all felt and can all relate to
And so Volume 2 is every bit as relevant and needed as its predecessor but can it live up to it? The short answer is yes, and how! Volume one by its nature needed to set the scene, establish the groundwork and get the uninitiated up to speed. Freed from these constraints, Sam has been able to dig a little deeper, move around a little more stylistically and take us further into the soulful world of lovers covers.
And there are some serious heavy hitters here - Derrick Cross' rework of Luther Vandross' ALL-TIME ANTHEM 'Never too Much' hits you in the feels as hard as is possible. Literally, who couldn't love this? Sonia's cover of Sister Sledge's 'Easier to Love' sits just the right side of schmaltz, that Chic songwriting genius translating just beautifully to this side of the pond. Fallon Jenkins hits boogie reggae heaven on 'All Night Long' originally to be found on Tottenham's finest, Body Music records. Personally, I love the original of 'Holding Back the Years' but even the most Hucknall-phobic would surely dig Pete Campbell's version found here. We get prime marital paranoia from Carl Johnson and closed out with the boogie busting 'Blood is Thicker Than Water' by Trevor Walters.
So there you have it, 12 slices of pure musical emotion for tough times, these times, weird times, all times.
For the Love Of You, Vol. 2 is out now on Athens of the North