At the risk of offending any diehard Sam Sparro superfans, I’m just gonna go ahead and say this; nothing since his breakout debut single “Black & Gold” has warranted anything more than a fleeting sampling… sorry. OK fine, there were a couple of tracks on the Sam Sparro album that I was into, but even one of those was a remake—- Crystal Waters’ “Gypsy Woman”.
Don’t get me wrong, the man is blessed with an unmistakable voice and I’ve wanted to like his work but the most positive reaction that I’ve had to his post-“Black” material has been of the “ummm… no thanks” variety. With that said, I hesitantly sampled his new EP Quantum Physical Volume One and was pleasantly surprised to find the mini-album to be a solid collection of tunes that, like other recent faves of mine, reference 90s dance music.
Album opener “Infinite” reminds me of the decidedly less radio-friendly house sound that Deee-Lite explored post-“Groove Is In The Heart”. “Hang On 2 Your Love” didn’t really grab me, but it still fits in with the solid dance vibe of the EP and makes for a perfectly fine album track/b-side. “Facism” reaches a bit further back than the 90s for dance music inspiration as it seems, along with that recent Ciara remix, to channel 80s house pioneers Inner City. The highlight for me, however, is album closer “Fight Or Flight” which seems like a logical ending to the party that “Infinite” started. “Fight…”, with its unusual start/stop production, somehow manages to be effective as both an R&B slow jam and a late night house groove. If the song had been recorded by say, Usher, folks would falling over themselves to praise the track. In fact, this soulful club vibe would’ve been a dope direction for Timberlake to have gone in instead of the tired beatbox-y Timbaland snorefest on The 20/20 Experience that was much better when it was called Futuresex/Lovesounds.
It’s a shame that mainstream pop radio can’t find a place on their playlists for songs like the ones featured on Quantum Physical, but I guess the lure of another party rap track from Pitbull is too irresistible. Stream Sparro’s latest below and if you’re into it, head on over to iTunes and give the man a few dollars.
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