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Album Review: Sam Sparro - Return To Paradise

29 May 2012 | 7:14 pm | Naomi Dollery

Certainly, the strength of Sparro’s album not only lies in his unconcealed commitment and talent for making music, but also his willingness to try something new. Most importantly, the album is extremely enjoyable and whether you like dance-pop music or not, one thing is for certain; it is darn hard to resist getting sucked in.

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Perhaps there is no denying that Australian born singer/songwriter Sam Sparro has earned his place amongst dance royalty as, chances are, many will easily recall the infectious chorus of 2008's club hit, Black & Gold.

Maintaining a high standard may seem like a precarious feat, however eager fans may be pleased to hear that his new album throws up some interesting and very welcome surprises. While channelling large doses of 1980's funk may indeed sound like a gamble, Sparro's efforts are certainly commendable. Opener Paradise People is a sleek affair with its smooth bassline, and the electronic-inflections are just as inviting as the track is catchy, which sets the standard for the tracks that follow. Let The Love In is another example of Sparro's fondness for retrospect, employing heady disco influences paired with gospel choir-esque backup vocals that fit together seamlessly. Departing from these flirtations with the past, Sparro returns to a contemporary club-appropriate electro sound, and Yellow Orange Rays fits the bill with its sing-along chorus and addictive tune, both raising the endorphins. Towards the end of the album, Sparro reverts back to a slower and smoother pace, and the title-track indulges in plentiful “oohs” and “ahhs”, and soaring choruses, which mimic the cheesiness of the 1980s perfectly once more.

Certainly, the strength of Sparro's album not only lies in his unconcealed commitment and talent for making music, but also his willingness to try something new. Most importantly, the album is extremely enjoyable and whether you like dance-pop music or not, one thing is for certain; it is darn hard to resist getting sucked in.