Right Said Fred

For Sale

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Right Said Fred have transformed themselves -- 15 years on from the release of their worldwide smash, "I'm Too Sexy" -- into one of the most exciting pop bands of the new millennium. For Sale, their sixth album, is their most accomplished release to date, featuring more hooks per square inch than a fisherman's tackle box. Richard and Fred Fairbrass (and "silent" third member Clyde Ward) inhabit their own musical world, creating little slices of pop heaven filled with delicious melodies, gorgeous harmonies (backing vocalist Lizzy Pattinson is one of the Freds' secret weapons), and uplifting grooves. This is not your average, run-of-the-mill "pop" album, though. It's so much more. The Freds know what makes a great song, and they've created an album filled with them. Although primarily known for "dance" music, RSF offer so much more here. There are plenty of acoustic guitars to savor, as well as mandolin, Dobro, slide guitar, and other instruments you wouldn't think you'd find on an RSF album. In fact, only "Love Pressure" comes close to the RSF of old, with its perfect blend of '90s house and '70s disco. The infectious album opener, "I Love My Car (The Car Song)," could be their next worldwide hit single (à la "I'm Too Sexy"), while making both Erasure and Depeche Mode envious of its electro-pop hooks and driving beat (pun intended). "Play On" and "Brand New Girlfriend" are bright, fun singalongs. The ultra-catchy "Jump Start," "Sweet Wonderful You," "Obvious," and "Cry" are wonderful guitar pop songs that, in a perfect world, could be absolutely huge hit singles. The first single, a cover of Peter Sarstedt's "Where Do You Go to My Lovely?," is splendid, with Richard's heartfelt vocals and Fred and Clyde's chiming acoustic guitars (and is that an electric 12-string?). The Freds successfully tackle cocktail jazz with the lounge-like "Cost of Loving," and express their softer side at the tail end of the album with a trio of ballads: "Here I Am," "Worthless Love," and "Hollywood Ending." Once again, RSF have proven themselves more than worthy of fame and a critical reassessment. This is a classy album that stands head and shoulders above their competition. Right Said Fred are in a class all their own.

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