🎵 How Good Are They Really 🎵 Sparks

It’s so horrendous that it’s actually funny. Pretty sure it’s meant to be funny, but it’s not the sort of joke that would go down well these days.

Definite ‘ah the 70s. Different times…’ vibes.

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Sorry folks, only just got home, score to follow.


Some 21st century Sparks…

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Sparks score 3.76

  • Sparks
  • Trail Of Dead
  • Modest Mouse
  • Spoon
  • Pet Shop Boys

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So here it is. Sorry it’s a bit late, but its unbridled passion was worth posting I feel, and he said “I’ve had a mad weekend”. So here it is, largely unedited except for typos. Enjoy!

"Bored by contemporary lad musicians the brothers Leon and Neil from Oasis, I migrated to my parents’ vinyl collection and similar boredom was found with The Stones and Zeppelin. Rock music. Instead I solace in the first four Queen albums (also the best 4). The balance of proggy rock-opera silliness was more akin to my tastes. Wanting more, I thought I had found another Queen record mistaking the side-by-side photo of Russel and Ron Mael on the back of Kimono My House for Queen’s Freddy and Brian. Not to be deterred I skeptically put the record on and was far from disappointed.

Kimono My House is the standard go-to Sparks album. It has the song that everyone knows, the iconic front cover not featuring any text or an image of the band and is very much the ‘baby’s first Sparks album’. This is my favourite Sparks album which is a bit like saying creep is your favorite Radiohead song. Yet, I will always love the strikingly weird fantastical falsetto delight this album is. It’s pop, it’s 70’s rock and lyrically it’s full of weird subversive tales told by unreliable narrators. The standout for me being ‘Talent is an Asset’ which imagines Einstein’s parents as pushy middle-class busybodies obsessed with their offspring’s brilliance. It is my favourite probably by circumstance (with 2017’s Hippopotamus in second place), as it was the only one my parents had, your Sparks Journey should probably start here.
John Peel once said ‘always different, always the same’ when describing The Fall. What can be said about Sparks is: always almost completely unrecognisable and could slot into multiple different genre mixtapes / playlists unnoticed, always containing minimal trace recognisable elements. Amateur Hour – 70’s Rock, Looks Looks Looks – big band swing, When do I get to sing my way? – New Wave. And so on the genre switching goes.
This is the best and worst thing about Sparks. The genre shifting will and certainly has alienated some fans. However if you can get on board, enjoy the incredible falsetto vocals the deadpan piano to go with the deadpan deadeyed delivery of Ron during live performances, there is plenty to enjoy. If you don’t like it, move on to another of their albums. There are 25 to get through. 5/5".