#1 is the sound of 1980 as filtered by two new wave revivalists in 2002. The nine songs here have been remastered and resequenced from Casey Spooner and Warren Fischer's original take on a debut (released in 2001 on International DJ Gigolos). Though they're known primarily for their campy, elaborate live-concerts-as-dramas, Fischerspooner prove themselves to be as talented working studio boards as they are at staging those Ziggy Stardust-style freakouts. Many listeners will be surprised by the emotional depth of the album, especially since most will have been introduced first to the ravey "Emerge." Their cover of Wire's "The 15th" might not be as suited to the dancefloor, but it's a perfect, energetic electro-pop creation and quite possibly the album's high point. And while there are plenty of moments where one wonders if Fischerspooner is channeling the Human League, Information Society, Giorgio Moroder, or Yaz, it might just be the slow songs that best showcase the duo's talent. Unlike fellow nostalgia-mongers Ladytron, it's obvious that Fischerspooner have a foot in the past and the present. The sweet, minimal "Ersatz" blends Eno, Add N to (X), and Autechre all at once. "Tone Poem" recalls and equals any one of Martin Gore's fragile ballads. Other songs simmer with modern techno glitches, mix diva vocals with vocoder rants, and paint vistas that haven't been visited since the 1980s. Remarkably varied, lush, and fascinating from start to finish, #1 is a great album.
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AllMusic Review by Tim DiGravina