Gay, Christian, white, soulful - these adjectives all apply to Sam Sparro, an Australian-American whose Black and Gold was recently a deserved No 2 single. And there's more captivating electro-funk where that came from: his debut album is stuffed with it, some immediate enough to match Black and Gold's success. Sparro's bright, brassy soundbeds are the work of someone who has grown up with house and 1980s synth-pop and, to this, he adds a voice that has no business belonging to a white Californian.
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.