You won’t be surprised to hear this, but Nile Rodgers bloody loves to party. He’s been doing it for decades, of course, firstly through the guise of pioneering disco group Chic, and then as hitmaker-for-hire in the following decades. In 2018, he’s still at it.
‘It’s About Time’ – the band’s first new album in over 25 years – he shows no signs of ageing gracefully; he’s still well up for a big hoedown. ‘I Dance My Dance’, ‘Do You Wanna Dance’ and, er, ‘Dance Wiv Me’ sent the tone for a record that makes no attempt to reinvent the wheel, nor dares to stray from his patented disco guitar ‘chuck-chucka’.
Knowing his limits/legacy makes for a more enjoyable listen. Over the past few years, Rodgers has had to overcome with several health issues – including prostate cancer – so hearing him in back in the recording booth is a triumph in itself. When he enlists the next generation of hitmakers like Nao, Mura Masa and Cosha, it’s pure euphoria. ‘Till The World Falls’ is a shimmering opener to get the disco-ball raised, while ‘Boogie All Night’ will make you want to do just that.
There’s a few wobbles, though, when he treads dangerously into self-parody with the dreadful Craig David-featuring ‘Sober’, and a new version of ‘I Want Your Love’ with Lady Gaga, for some reason. This is not his finest hour nor his most groundbreaking, but just having him on the scene is enough – even if all he’s able to do is spread joy.