You would be forgiven if you didn’t know Sparks, but the highly underrated LA band has managed to maintain an extraordinary artistic output for decades. Recently, the Mael brothers (Ron and Russell) decided to celebrate over forty years of producing thoughtful, intricate, and literary theatrical-pop by collaborating with Franz Ferdinand on a side project simply named FFS. That the arty, post-disco duo would team up with the Scottish dance-rock revivalists (known for their own brand of smart, lyrical rock) might come as a surprise initially, but upon listening to the supergroup’s excellent musical results, all doubts vanish.
FFS’s songs are completely polarizing; you will either love them, or you will not. Drop the needle on the opener “Johnny Delusional” to instantly get the grandiose picture. Head deeper into the LP to hear how brilliantly Alex Kapranos’s vocals blend with Russell’s iconic crooning on tracks like “Police Encounters,” “So Desu Ne,” and “The Power Couple.” Sensational and precise, with clever and silly wordplay abounding, FFS is crisp and bright. Not only does the album make one sit up and take notice, it excites fans of either (or both) halves as they think about the potential experiments and releases of the future.