Review : Sam Sparro - Sam Sparro
GuardianGay, Christian, white, soulful - these adjectives all apply to Sam Sparro, an Australian-American whose Black and Gold was recently a deserved No 2 single. And there's more captivating electro-funk where that came from: his debut album is stuffed with it, some immediate enough to match Black and Gold's success. Sparro's bright, brassy soundbeds are the work of someone who has grown up with house and 1980s synth-pop and, to this, he adds a voice that has no business belonging to a white Californian. The influence of Bill Withers and Gil Scott-Heron asserts itself in his supple vocals, to the point where Sick - in which his voice is pared down to an echo - comes as a welcome contrast....full text
GuardianWith little fanfare Sam Sparro's first major label single, 'Black and Gold', materialised in the Top 10 last month. It's a bite-sized electro-soul adventure, building to a fizzy climax over four delicious minutes - the sort of dance track people find incredibly hard to dance to but feel compelled to try anyway. Its arrival has been likened to that of Gnarls Barkley's 'Crazy' but the LA-based Australian has something else in common with that duo: his trailblazing lead single is something of an anomaly on a debut album that, on the whole, offers richest rewards to the fully committed listener....full text
BillboardAround for more than a year, Sam Sparro's "Black & Gold" has created the kind of viral buzz you can't buy. It's a Gershwin-meets-Goldfrapp song of tragic love, delivered by Sparro with a plaintive soulfulness that breaks hearts. On his debut self-titled full-length, the Australian-born, Los Angeles-residing singer/songwriter doesn't try to repeat "Black," because he doesn't have to: He can do it all. "Too Many Questions" beats Jamiroquai at its own game, getting closer to the essence of Stevie Wonder. "Sick" brings back the synth-washed narcissism of '80s Depeche Mode better than the band itself can. Even Prince gets punked: "Sally"—an ode to a stripper—is so funky it's downright purple. But the best part of Sparro is that he's not just multiplying old styles by new sounds....full text
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