Fitness Forever


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After releasing one album that sounded like Sergio Mendes on a sugar high, 2009's Personal Train, and another that sounded like a soft rock take on the Muppets, 2013's Cosmos, the Italian combo Fitness Forever go full-on disco with 2017's Tonight. Previous albums have sprinkled in disco influences liberally, but this time around it's the main course. Carlos Valderrama and his crew of players and singers take a deep dive into various forms of the genre and return with nothing but sparkling gems. Whether indulging in some super-cheesy Love Boat sounds that seem like they're being played by an orchestra full of guys in glittering tuxes and bad toupees ("Arbre Magique"), channeling ABBA at their most disco-fabulous ("Canadian Ranger"), dishing out super-snappy floor-fillers ("Tonight," "Dance Boys"), or repping their home country with some fine Italo disco ("Baby Love," "Andrè"), the results are always danceable and always slicker than sweat. The only time the record slows down is near the end with some fine soft disco, "Cosa Mi Hai Detto," and a string-filled closing-time ballad, "Carlo," which brings the curtain down with a luxe flourish. Tonight is not a subtle album; Valderrama throws on layer after layer of disco polish until the whole thing gleams like the reddest nails in the club and shines like a freshly hung disco ball. At times, it comes perilously close to feeling like a pastiche, but the strength of the melodies, the guileless charm of the vocalists, and the attention to detail everyone exhibits help Tonight breeze right past those concerns and end up somewhere just south of delightful. Fans of their earlier, more stylistically varied albums may find Tonight to be a little monochromatic, even though it's bursting with sunny colors. Once you lock into the disco-ness of it all, though, it's hard not to be swept out onto the dancefloor, primed and ready to dance the night away.

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