The Late Night Tales albums generally tend to be of a pretty high quality, as do compilations from Groove Armada. This one sees Late Night Tales team up once again after Groove Armada's lovely 2008 installment, albeit this time without half the duo... Music For Pleasure being just Tom Findlay and not Andy Cato.
If the subtitle didn't already give it away this is a little bit of a departure for the series. Music For Pleasure is more focused on laid back easy listening than the generally more twisted, tripped-out sound of Late Night Tales. Think a bit less lava lamps, passed round joints and hours spent watching the wallpaper move and a bit more pool lounging while the sun shines down on your ice cold margarita.
Each person's interpretation of 'music for pleasure' is probably a little different so we will have to see how much consistency this series has (if it even becomes a series). Findlay's take though is a mixture of laid back seventies soft rock, 80s MoR and yacht.
It's a difficult set to argue with because a listen is a pretty gorgeous trip through pastel colours, decadent good times and earnest emotion. The whole album is really soft and warm. Whilst Ambrosia's 'You're The Woman' opens things on a slow sunset falsetto heavy track it is Robert Palmer's steel drum and trumpet celebratory 'Every Kinda People' that really kicks things into touch.
Michael McDonald's 'I Keep Forgettin' upstages Warren G's 'Regulate' effortlessly (by which it was sampled), showing real gentlemen rock smooth. Similarly 'Baby Come Back' by the Player, last seen blasting out of Bumblebee in the Transformers movie, is pure soul and coke rock and roll, just perfect for a lie down with some Don Perignon and a little soft-focused fantasy about your ex.
Groove Armada have something of a flair for making mix albums of tracks with little mixing and a fairly subtle re-edit approach is employed here. It isn't quite as lovingly applied by Findlay as on the duo's Back To Mine set but it's good all the same and generally better than the fudged mixing you sometimes get on this sort of release.
We conclude with Tom Findlay's own Balearic re-edit of 10cc's 'I'm Not In Love' and to be fair, it's pretty Balearic - soft and dreamlike with an emphasised drop and a beautiful slight return. Music For Pleasure is a bit of a dream. My only concern is it is a bit too 'now' and I can't help but feel that it won't hold interest in the same way Findlay's other compilations with the full Armada have.
But who's for worrying about that? I'm going for another martini with a twist before the sun hits the Med.