Album review: FFS – FFS

This tongue-in-cheek collaboration between Sparks and Franz Ferdinand works really rather well.

FFS's FFS. Courtesy Domino Record Co
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Four stars

A quick history lesson: formed in 1971 by the Los Angeles-born Mael brothers, Ron (keyboards) and Russell (moustache/vocals), Sparks are the most unapologetically eccentric pop-rock band of all-time. Now they are set to win a fresh generation of fans, after joining forces with the Scottish indie-disco stalwarts Franz Ferdinand to form the transatlantic “supergroup” FFS.

The first single, Johnny Delusional, is a stupendously fabulous opening salvo, declaring early on that "some might find me borderline attractive from afar", before segueing into a ridiculous, pompous, perfect chorus that admits: "Though I want you / I know I haven't a chance". It's a glorious farce that Queen might have become in their old age had they replaced Freddie Mercury with a Casio keyboard instead of Paul Rodgers or (shudder) Adam Lambert.

The arched-eyebrow vocal extremes of Franz Ferdinand's frontman Alex Kapranos mesh seamlessly with Russell Mael's falsetto throughout and, by the time the penultimate song – Collaborations Don't Work – rolls around, tongues are so far through cheeks they're waggling in the wind with not a care in the world. Collaborations, it appears, do work rather well, after all.