Friday, July 28th, 2017

Fischerspooner – Have Fun Tonight

Oh hey, remember them?


Tim de Reuse: Fischerspooner apparently describe this tune as “a queer ballad about polyamory (…or polyagony),” which sounds like the kind of thing I’d usually be cheering for. I’ve been listening over and over scouring it for some kind of subtext to justify that “polyagony” note; you know, anything that might imply a deeper interpretation than just “a grimy, dotted-eigth-note electropop trudge.” I can’t find a damn thing. Even when stretching the interpretation of the few lines that dare to express genuine emotion beyond awful dancefloor clichés, we’re given passing references rather than commentary. Or, hey, maybe it’s subtle — maybe the sleazy, tedious sluggishness of it is supposed to communicate some kind of ambivalence towards its subject matter, which I guess is a reading you could craft an argument in favor of — but I still wouldn’t find it very much fun to listen to.

Ian Mathers: Really, there are enough positive songs about monogamy; I don’t begrudge there being more, but what we could use (in a world where more people are choosing other options) are more songs about healthy, non-monogamous relationships where it’s just… normal. It’s not an origin story, not intended for your titillation, not intended to convince anyone, and any vertiginous pleasures here (between the banked synthesizers, rattling drum machine clicks and Casey Spooner’s typically layered and pleasurable vocals) are predicated on the same charge anyone gets from love, not on the situation being “weird” or “risky” or “deviant” or anything like that. Song bangs, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also refreshing.

Thomas Inskeep: Back-room 2am gay sleaze music about “com[ing] together sweetly” — not just the sexiest song Casey Spooner’s ever voiced, but most definitely the sexiest thing co-writer and -producer Michael Stipe (!) has ever had a hand in. There are many reasons I wish Looking was still on the air, and now here’s another: this could soundtrack one hell of a club scene on that show.

Claire Biddles: Not to be dramatic but when I heard that Michael Stipe was heavily involved in the making of the new Fischerspooner record I literally lay down and died, perished, ceased to exist: The meeting of one of the greatest queer musicians/writers of all time and the makers of the definitive club banger of my youth! “Have Fun Tonight” goes dirty and hard, the title becoming an order to an ambiguous lover or ex-lover or sort-of lover. The complexities of having and wanting and letting go are all there in Casey Spooner’s delicious vocal, going from pathetic sincerity (“Go have fun without me”) to faux-macho irony (the perfect delivery of “We complete each other….man“). I have a lot of feelings about Michael Stipe’s transition from observer of queer life (“That’s me in the corner”, of course) to brazen chronicler of all of its light and rot and bitterness, and listening to “Have Fun Tonight” with that context makes it even more raw. 

Anaïs Escobar Mathers: I have such a defiant 19-year-old love for Fischerspooner and that’s likely due to all of the rock bros I dated in my youth who rolled their eyes at the electropop I loved so much. But it’s also because they’re great! I love “Have Fun Tonight”, which feels very Pet Shop Boys and scratches the itch for dreamy vocals paired with new wave/electro vibes. Get ready for me to dig into my unresolved feelings of wishing I had been a teen in the late 70s/early 80s, but this single reminds me so much of Cabaret Voltaire on The Crackdown and that is a very good thing.

Scott Mildenhall: If Fischerspooner’s only cultural mark was having Richard Blackwood pretend to be unnerved before and after their spectacular Top of the Pops performance, their work would be done, but evidently they were more than ephemera. “Have Fun Tonight” sounds like the work of a new band. It doesn’t have anything near the box-smashing excitement of (yes) “Emerge”, but to hear it on the radio as it sounds like it should be would be a start. Switch the gender references and someone like Demi Lovato would probably have a crack; shift the world slightly and it could be a hit for Adam Lambert.

Alfred Soto: The uneasy falsetto and 2003 electrobeats, garnished with trop house marimbas for spice, are queer-as-weird, not queer-queer. I don’t want to remind these inelegant poseurs that what they used to do is write boring songs when they should’ve been covering Wire for whole albums.

Anthony Easton: That Strokes oral history is at the tail end of millenial New York nostalgia, but I miss the Fischerspooner gloom house adjacent dance music more than the Strokes guitar wank. This compiling of polymorphous single entendres drag through a production as thick as tar, and coming together sounds less fun than obligatory, but the Depeche Mode quote doubles down on the retrograde nostalgia, that makes me at least fond of the effort. 

Will Adams: At once sinister and carnal and forlorn, “Have Fun Tonight” blasts away the threat of dancefloor infidelity with a cosign from the would-be spurned. As usual, Fischerspooner’s sonic palette veers into cheapness, but the cold, mechanical skitter fits well into the narrative. The feelings are shifting and unsure, but the raw desire remains.

Reader average: [9] (1 vote)

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One Response to “Fischerspooner – Have Fun Tonight”

  1. Soz for this banal comment but I was really looking forward to reading everyone else’s thoughts about this and y’all came thru! @ thomas I know we were chatting about this a bit and yr Looking reference is spot on!! And anais I feel u!!