red lights


Delectably danceable


Fischerspooner - Odyssey
(Capitol Records )
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: June 28, 2005

Review by Andy Argyrakis

The original roots of dance poppers Fischerspooner date back to the duo's days at the School of the Art Institute when they tag teamed on various performance art pieces. Though Warren Fischer and Casey Spooner lost touch in the years following graduation, they did meet each other once again in New York and resolved to write together come 1999. The resulting sessions churned out a plethora of electronic rock tracks and grandiose visual ideas, which eventually made it to the stage and scored a fervent cult following. Though the pair's initial release on Germany's Gigolo Records only made waves on the underground, the buzz become so mighty that Capitol Records came calling. Upon signing and releasing #1, tips of the tag team's inventiveness touched the mainstream and paved the way for its new found Odyssey.
The incredibly appropriately title traces the group's growth over the last couple years, ending with a tremendous leap forward characterized by a much wider musical palette than before. Whereas the first record was catchy but somewhat repetitive, take two is loaded with variety and unconventional wisdom. "Never Win" is the most noticeable, appearing campy at first with its disco rock blend, but unraveling with sophistication thanks to a stylistic merger inspired by Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In the Wall" and AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap." Later on "Get Confused" brews a batch of goth and hip-hop over words written by David Byrne. The lyrics were left over from his late 70s days fronting Talking Heads and are accompanied by the supporting female vocals of Mira Billotte (lead singer of White Magic). Other creative elevations include "Everything To Gain" (where Mellotron Moody Blues rock meets Stooges slanted punk), "We Need a War" (think the Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" on speed) and "Wednesday" (mirroring Bauhaus, but with a digital flair).
Even though all of those elements are delectably danceable, there's much more to the Fischerspooner experience than can be contained on a CD. Anyone who's ever seen the group live can attest to an outlandish, over the top imagery characterized by colorful costumes, coordinated lighting and corresponding props. All of the Odyssey material will only be enhanced by the stage setting, but will prove to be slightly less satisfying for those simply hearing all the slinky sounds. Consider this project to be a worthwhile, but only partial piece of Fischerspooner's conceptual whole, which is one that can only fully be realized in the concert setting.

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