Sam Sparro

Sam Sparro

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Sam Sparro's debut album shows he was influenced by Prince (especially the tracks "Hot Mess" and the penultimate song "Clingwrap") and Stevie Wonder. With a modern electro-funk beat running through most of the songs, however, it would not disappoint Scissor Sisters fans either (although it may not be quite camp enough). Leading off with "Too Many Questions," a midtempo R&B song with an unmemorable melody, he immediately launches into the big hit single, the brooding "Black and Gold." He may be billed as a future soul star, but one wonders if he was trying to sound like Bernard Sumner of New Order on the track "Sick," which had a New Order-style electro backing. (Not to mention "Waiting for Time" and "Recycle It," with their early-'80s video-game bleeps .) "Listening to Cottonmouth" brought to mind the swishing beat of Imagination, the early-'80s pop-funk band, especially their songs "Just an Illusion" and "Body Talk," but without the ethereal qualities of those 1980s classics. "21st Century Life," "Pocket" and "Cut Me Loose" were straightforward disco pop songs without much to distinguish them. After awhile the tracks all begin to sound the same, a simple disco beat with Seal-style R&B vocals -- no bad thing but nothing much original and nothing to come close to the single "Black and Gold." There was a hidden track on the album, after over three minutes of silence following the final song "Cant Stop This," a tinkling piano ballad, "Still Hungry" faded in. The change of pace actually made a pleasant change and it was one of the better songs on the album.

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