Review of Fischerspooner: Entertainment

05/19/2009

Fischerspooner: Entertainment
Release Date: May 5, 2009
Label: FS Studios
Rating: 2.5/5
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY8D4U0NSfQ

As one of pioneer groups of the electroclash movement, Fischerspooner’s Entertainment suggests the band has surpassed its prime. The term “electroclash” was spawned in 2001 emphasizing the incorporation of art with music in a new wave style. This is important because while Fischerspooner, comprised of Carey Spooner and Warren Fischer, would claim their music is not dance music, it is the dance friendly songs on Entertainment which stand out.

“If they were to die, it would change our view of the moon forever,” said Gene Franz, the former NASA flight director for Apollo 13. The sample introduces the song “Supply & Demand,” and is one of the album’s artistic motifs as it is referenced in other tracks as well. Fischer follows with the hook, “I’ve got the supplies, you’ve got demands, I’ve got the sense you can’t really understand.” As a critique of capitalist expansion or whatever, Fischer is correct—you can’t really understand. While “Supply & Demand,” is one of best songs on the album, with an upbeat tempo juxtaposed with a morbid sample and cynical lyrics, the artistic content is lost in translation dissolving into an antithesis–a simple dance song.

With lyrics like “this is the end of something” (“Door Train Home”), “currency can only do so much” (“Money Can’t Dance”), “it’s no one’s fault but our own” (“Infidels of World Unite”), Fisher sounds sophomorically repressed writing lambasting political poetry. Spooner’s supporting vocals are unsatisfying fillers between Fisher’s whining. On a few of tracks, notably “Door Train Home,” “Supply & Demand,” and “The Best Revenge,” the drum patterns, growling synthesizers, or occasional samples (horns, keys etc.) makeup for the lacking vocals or lyrics, generating pop friendly dance songs.

Since 2001 many groups have successfully joined, propelled and redefined the electroclash sound, from Hot Chip to Crystal Castles, thereby setting a bar for further artists to exceed or match, which was non-existent during Fischerspooner’s rise. While Fischerspooner was once considered new age, with Entertainment they sound trivial. As this album dies at the hand of critics, it will not change most people’s views of Fischerspooner, a band regarded as anathema, loved by some, and hated by others.