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 some damn fine lyrical turns of phrase. 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 original Hotel2Tango, the album serves up a diverse batch of songs that Mr. Sparo had been performing in front of a devoted and growing audience since he first moved to Montreal in 1997. With contributions by various Constellation musicians, the pieces range from spare acoustic guitar accompaniment to electric guitar and beatbox collisions to full-on orchestrations for strings and organ/percussion. Frankie channeled 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.
1. Bastard Heart
2. My Stunning Debut
3. Dimish Me NYC
4. A Citizen's Farewell
5. Novak Again
6. The Loneliest Mademoiselle
7. Send For Me
8. This Side Of Her
9. If You're Fancy Free
10. Here Comes The Future
11. The Night That We Stayed In
Running time: 00:44:29
LP comes in a thick printed jacket with artwork insert.
CD comes in a custom paperboard mini-gatefold jacket with a printed CD dust sleeve.
Chad Jones: guitar, beats, voice
Ian: piano, organ
Recorded and mixed at the Hotel2Tango in Montreal by Thierry, Ian and Efrim, December 1999-June 2000. Mastered by Harris Newman.