Work on Here We Go Love - the first from Dave Wakeling under the Beat imprint since 1982's Special Beat Service - progressed in piecemeal fashion between bouts of touring over the past two years, with Wakeling backed by his regular 7-piece band. Recorded at NRG in Los Angeles, the album's sonic approach utilizes the best of the past and the future. Mixing veteran Jay Baumgardner and producer Kyle Hoffmann blended their expertise to create a sound with the warm, organic instrumentation that's allowed The Beat's finest moments to remain fresh all these years later. Eventually questions of how the album should relate to the band's lineage resolved themselves entirely organically.
As a Brummie musician whose love for Kingston's island sounds is equally as informed by the scorching sun and heated politics of his Californian home, the likes of "Be There For You," "Redemption Time" and "You Really Oughtta Know" are exactly representative. It's far from one dimensional, however. A Stax strut with Wakeling channeling his Vegas crooner fantasies and gospel backing vocals, "Every Time You Told Me" is arguably the album's most immediate moment, although "The One and The Only" and "If Killing Worked" both run it close with a breezy rush of new wave power-pop and an undercurrent of ska. Arguably the leader of the pack is the exuberant power-pop of "Here We Go Love," which Wakeling wrote in an attempt to "have something that sounded like The Briefs covering a Buzzcocks cover of a Monkees song."
While the music rolls on a tight groove from the live band, a handful of special guests make a significant contribution too – notably Roddy ‘Radiation' Byers of The Specials and The Skabilly Rebels, Train guitarist Luis Maldonado and backing vocalists Kevin Williams and Jelani Jones. Wakeling even sought input from The Beat's late saxophonist Saxa. Honoring The Beat's roots without being beholden to the past, Dave Wakeling's reappraisal starts here.