Well, this is a turn-up for the books. Having written about Argir’s heavily guitar-based adventures with tracks such as Beggar’s Anthem and Still Alive, Jumper seems, at least, to begin with, the product of an altogether different artist. This opening track is built primarily on loose, staccato keyboard elements and electronic beats. It is only towards the end of the song that his familiar guitar cuts reassuringly through.

And it is a brave opener that seems to suggest that you don’t have the handle on Fred Argir that you think you might. And although there are plenty of tracks that move us back into the more expected guitar realms, such as Dear You, there is much more going on than simple six-string electric guitar slinging. Float Away lays on a platform of afro-beat rhythms, The Misunderstood is bluesy and brooding, and With No Name is dance fuelled electro-rock at its finest.

Despair and Ecstacy is an album that keeps you guessing, and although there is the Fred Argir of old still present, the one who is the master of old-school rock in all its forms, this album shows the emergence of a whole new one too. One who effortlessly moves with the times, hops genres, scenes, sounds and styles and who is more concerned with where music goes next rather than where it has been.

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