Return to Paradise
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Part soul crooner, part pop star with an ever-morphing, chameleon-like quality, Sam coasts a fine line between disarmingly earnest and chic, credible cool. He has become known not only for his distinct, scale-defying vocals and epic live shows, but also as a visual artist and style icon, inspired as much by Jean-Paul Goode and Andy Warhol as he is by Prince and James Murphy. Return To Paradise is his second album. It features the hit singles Happiness & I Wish I Never Met You. Track Listing: 1: 1. Paradise People 2. Happiness 3. Let The Love In 4. Yellow Orange Rays 5. Hearts Like Us 6. Wish I Never Met You 7. Shades of Grey 8. We Could Fly 9. Closer 10. The Shallow End 11. Return To Paradise
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Singer/songwriter/producer Sam Sparro has truly outdone himself with his second album. While his self-titled debut was a bit all over the place, Return to Paradise has solidarity due to each song's united front on the quest for love and happiness. With the album being well focused sonically, fluidity is present; there will be no skipping around on this masterpiece, no sir! Return to Paradise will have you feeling like you're in a relationship-- leaving you smiling, heartbroken, and empowered all within 47 minutes. Sounds stressful...? Nah!! It's healing to you mind, soul, and most important of all, your ears. IT'S PARADISE (duh)!!!
Return to Paradise begins with the anthem "Paradise People" declaring, "We are the Paradise people/ We are the moon and the stars/ We are the church and the steeple/ Sent down from Venus and Mars". This is the perfect song to set the tone of the album with its smooth funk beat and equally smooth yet hard hitting vocals. The following tracks are "Happiness" (the first single) and "Let the Love In". The latter is where Sam encourages people "live in the light" and reciprocate love; with the former, being another anthemic song, shows his urgency of trying to find, none other than...happiness. Something we all could use more of.
Towards the second half of the disc the Australian born soul singer reminds his listeners why we enjoy listening to him croon in the first place. The second single, "I Wish I Never Met You", is a breakup dance ballad (one of which hits too close to home *sniff sniff sigh*). Sam sings with such conviction that it'll make you want to call your ex-partner and damn him/her to hell (if nothing else, at least throw a pillow at the stereo)!
As the album nears the end Mr. Sparro livens up the vibe again and even has an ode to Los Angeles ("The Shallow End"); his home away from home. Closing this wonderful collection of sounds is the slow grooving title track "Return to Paradise", which by the way, is my ultimate favorite track on the entire album. The guitar and Sam's effortless falsetto had me singing along and cha-cha-ing my ass off. *DISCLAIMER--I have no clue how to REALLY cha-cha*
Return to Paradise is a beautifully sung and written collection of art. An album that is compelling enough to make you rethink what you thought you knew about love and relationships constitutes, in my empirical opinion (yea you heard me!!), a MASTERPIECE!
I haven't heard a whole lot of music like his before, but I liked it.
I like all the songs, but sadly none of them are as addictive as Black and Gold. Nonetheless, it's worth a try.
There aren't any songs that I dislike, but there aren't any songs that I love unconditionally.
"Yellow Orange Rays" is choppy mid tempo Funk/Pop that apes Prince. Other highlights are "I Wish I Never Met You" (with shimmery swirling effects), the falsetto-sung Bee Gees-channeling synth ballad "Shades Of Grey", the groovy string/horn-peppered "We Could Fly", the rousing "The Shallow End" (with party sounds), and the closing moody synth ballad "Return To Paradise.
There may not be another "Black And Gold" on here, but this is a consistent and good follow up that will have you returning for more.