It’s about time the boys got back in on the action.
Ian Wade 2008
Hurrah in general for Sam Sparro. After what has seemed like an ice age of 'new Amy Winehouses', it’s about time the boys got back in on the action. Remember, a couple of years ago, everyone was looking for the new James Blunt, and therefore following summer turned into a non-stop Magic FM deluge of bleating, so the time is right for a new surge of testosterone. Leading the charge is the fabulous and not entirely ugly 25-year old Sam Sparro. Born in Australia, living in LA with occasional bursts into London, Sam grew up listening to his gospel singing minister dad, before coming to London and diving head first into the club scene. Now after being bigged up by Mark Ronson, Adele, Chaka Khan and well, everyone else basically, and working with the likes of Richard X and Paul Epworth, Sam Sparro's debut is his passport to fantastic stardom.
You’ll know the single Black And Gold by now. It's unquestionably the single of the year and is sounding more amazing as the weather improves. Its durability is its genius: It sounds just as good when you're sharing an ice cream with a Labrador in the park or in a club at the business end of a bucket of poppers. The rest of the album doesn't disappoint either. Imagine a truly 21st century funk. A place where Daft Punk meets Prince (or, in the case of Hot Mess, several eras in one song), a place that references mid-eighties US soul such as the SOS Band and Cameo, along with a bit of post-modernist slap-bass.
Those looking for the next Black And Gold won't find it on the unnecessary eco-R&B jam of Recycle It!, but in Sick (The Human League, if Dare was made in 2008 – a very good thing), 21st Century Life (modern confusion done with way more panache than, say, Calvin Harris) and Pocket (catchy-as-hell disco-textural advice on karma and dealing with bastards).
At around an hour (well no, more 50 mins - there's a bit of a gap before a pace-dropping untitled bit of lovely mellow soul), Sam Sparro's debut shows a broad range of inventiveness and flavours, and becomes more indispensable with every listen, and there's plenty to suggest a seriously golden future. Come 2009, it’ll be 'the next Sam Sparro' that what's left of the music industry will be hunting for.