Album Review: 100 and Rising, Incognito, 1995

One of the things we buried with disco was orchestral strings in pop music. It had gotten out of hand – case and point: Stars on 45. Good riddance. But wait. Along comes Simon Hale who re-writes the book on string arrangements, updating them to work with the likes of Incognito and Jamiroquai. Hale’s work on this album and on Jamiroquai’s Travelling Without Moving, heralded the return of string arrangements and made them cool again.

As a result, this Incognito record, among the 30 years of studio recording for that fine UK ensemble, stands out as the most stylistically unique. The title track is a particularly effective blend of R&B with the string sound, supported by a wonderfully penned melody. A must have for Incognito fans and a fine update to the sound we left behind when disco died.