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Fischerspooner 

Odyssey (Capitol)

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Now that electroclash has gone the way of countless rails of yayo, New York's Fischerspooner confronts that difficult second album in a post-Scissor Sisters soundscape. Perhaps not coincidentally, Warren Fischer and Casey Spooner opt for a warmer, less processed sound on the follow-up to 2003's #1, emphasizing songcraft over dance floors and camp -- not that they've totally ignored the latter aspects.

Fischerspooner's fondness for New Order and Pet Shop Boys still shines throughout most of Odyssey, adequately reflecting the bittersweet tension between sadness and uplift that those groups exhibit. Despite the emphasis on songwriting, Fischerspooner remains least riveting when balladeering and best when revving into chugging dance-rock mode. "We Need a War" (featuring lyrics by the late Susan Sontag) exemplifies this, as hectic "Sympathy for the Devil" percussion fuels a menacing track bristling with sarcasm. Oddly, Odyssey peaks with a coruscating rendition of the Boredoms' pulsating psych-rock classic "Circle."

More by Dave Segal

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