The rotating cast of Hercules & Love Affair, the project helmed by New York City producer Andy Butler, can be its biggest strength as well as an occasional weakness. Unlike the scattershot 2011 album “Blue Songs,” this third LP unspools more like a night on the dance floor ushered along by a DJ in complete control of the crowd and his genre. Once again Butler has tapped a series of guest vocalists, notably Krystle Warren and John Grant, to bring his disco and house compositions to life. Highlights include “The Light,” one of the more ambitiously arranged numbers, with four-on-the-floor drums pushing along noir-guitar riffs, and palpitating upper register synths. Like “My Offence,” another track thrumming with disco-revelry, and “I Try to Talk to You,” with its looping piano figure pathos and brooding vocals from Grant, who recently announced he’s HIV positive, each song’s darker instrumental aesthetics balance the fun with an undercurrent of rumination. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “I Try to Talk to You”Luke O’Neil can be reached at email@example.com.