My Red Scare
CST013 - 2000
The thrilling and mysterious debut by Frankie Sparo is a dark and deconstructed affair, featuring lots of angular guitar, skittish electronics, and a throaty voice offering up the finest lyrical turns of phrase we\'ve heard in a long while. My Red Scare is redolent with film noir atmosphere; vaguely sinister and paranoid at times, smoky and languid at others, the whole record exudes oblique intimacy and the unique sensibility of a true auteur. Recorded mostly in single takes on the 8-track tape deck at the Hotel2Tango, the album serves up a diverse batch of songs that Mr. Sparo has been performing in front of a devoted and growing audience since his move to Montreal in 1997. With contributions by various Constellation musicians, the pieces range from spare acoustic guitar accompaniment (\"Bastard Heart\", \"The Night That We Stayed In\"), to electric guitar and beatbox collisions (\"My Stunning Debut\", \"Here Comes The Future\") and full-on orchestrations for strings (\"The Loneliest Mademoiselle\") and organ/percussion (\"Send For Me\"). Frankie channels jazz and blues influences through his own inimitable sense of suspension and phrasing, full of deep breaths and pregnant pauses. At every point, the music is very much at the service of Sparo\'s poetic voice; brilliant lyrical couplets slide off the tongue, revealing a discriminating eye turned with clinical attention towards mild betrayals, nagging neuroses, and the humble defiance borne of alienation and insecurity, the thrill and chill of insignificance, the battle between empathy and antipathy. Lonely, erudite songs from a true auteur.