There’s more to love than boy meets girl: Jimmy Somerville

Writing this essay on Jimmy Somerville, I realized he was a mediocrity who wrote and sang a fistful of great dance tracks. To learn that Bronski Beat and the Communards recorded music incommensurate with Somerville’s personal radicalism and the monikers he and his musical partners chose disappointed me: romantic vagaries set to big beats. The comparison with Pet Shop Boys struck me as reductive. Women rightly balk when (male) critics don’t resist the temptation of comparing a female band or singer-songwriter to another woman. Somerville’s affinities with hi-NRG and Italo disco are more interesting anyway.

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