The superstar songwriter/guitarist/producer storms back with first Chic long-player in more than two decades.
If there’s one criticism that can be levelled at the new Nile Rodgers & Chic album, suitably titled It’s About Time as it’s been more than 25 years since 1992’s underrated Chic-ism, it’s that there isn’t enough of it.
There are only ten tracks, one of which is a cover version and the tenth of which is a remix of third track ‘Sober’, and not enough of the guitar/bass/drum breaks from the legendary dance band’s 12-inch mix heyday.
But what is here, tighter and less luxurious though each song may be than the eight glorious minutes of ‘Good Times’ with only ‘Til The World Turns’ passing the five-minute mark, is quite brilliant - an urgent call to the dance floor that doesn’t wallow in despair at these troubled times but yells ‘Sod all that, let’s boogie!’
Chic as a band have usually used session singers, saving the big-name collaborations for Chic Organisation projects for the likes of Sister Sledge and Diana Ross whilst Nile himself has leant his skills as a musician and/or producer to artists such as Madonna and Daft Punk.
But for the new record he’s pulled in some favours, with Craig David fronting ‘Sober’, Hailee Steinfeld inviting us to ‘Dance With Me’ and none other than Elton John guesting on ‘Queen’ - a seductive slow groove that’s the only time It’s About Time pauses for breath.
Most thrilling of all is Gaga’s guest appearance on a cover of Chic classic ‘I Want Your Love’ that finds the Lady as a vamp, tearing up the dance floor in a way she’s not done for a long time. She references her own ‘Bad Romance’ at one point and Chic + Gaga is a romance made in disco heaven.
It’s About Time is out now. For Nile Rodgers & Chic tour dates visit nilerodgers.com
Words: Simon Button