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Sparks Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Sparks - short biog

The artists who would come to be known for posterity as Sparks commenced inventing their often-copied, seldom-equaled brand of music back around 1970, when pop was young and brash and the Southern California airwaves awash with a contingent of post-British invasion inspirations like The Kinks, Barretts Floyd, and The Seeds. The purchase of countless shiny-sleeved ... Read more in Amazon's Sparks Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Jun 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nova Sales & Distribution (UK) Ltd
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,316 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Dick Around
2. Perfume
3. The Very Next Fight
4. (Baby, Baby) Can I Invade Your Country
5. Rock, Rock, Rock
6. Metaphor
7. Waterproof
8. Here Kitty
9. There s No Such Thing As Aliens
10. As I Sit To Play The Organ At The Notre Dame Cathedral

Product Description

How many bands can honestly say that their 20th album is possibly their best work? Against the norm (and as contradictory as always), Sparks' latest opus Hello Young Lovers proves effortlessly that it can be done. Their previous outing (2002s Lil' Beethoven) was a wondrous sonic adventure, impossible to pigeonhole, slightly marred only by its unfamiliar musical territory and lack of traditional Sparks sound.

Here, the balance is redressed enough to appeal to fans of the dramatic orchestral advances that album made, and those who prefer the sound of the band's early classics, be it "Beat The Clock", "Wonder Girl" or "This Town…". The familiar lyrical protagonists--part down-at heel everymen, part hysterical lunatic--are still in place, augmented by a fuller band sound and catchier hooks; multi-parted operatic sweeps, infinitely tracked Russell Mael vocals and abrupt stylistic changes furnish nearly every song, creating a catalogue of mutant pop songs that take overblown suite-like construction (think "Bohemian Rhapsody" on hard drugs) as their template and re-fit it for the 21st Century. This creates an album that sounds like nothing else you'll hear, and in tracks like "Dick Around" or "Waterproof", the best moments of Sparks' career so far. Beyond essential.--Thom Allott

Product Description

Ron and Russell Mael present Hello Young Lovers, their 20th album. To achieve such enormity and expansiveness Ron and Russell worked in a limitless vacuum for the best part of 18 months. The only inspiration taken from any current music was the provocation to go as far as possible in the opposite direction. When writing and recording their previous album Lil Beethoven, Sparks broke the rules, but in creating Hello Young Lovers the rule book has been thrown away.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By Jon B
Format:Audio CD
Quite simply the best thing I've heard in a longtime. Sparks have recieved quite a bit of press about this, and their influence on current bands such as Franz Ferdinand is indisputable. Whilst most people would still consider the 74 albums (Kimono and Propaganda) to still be the Mael brothers finest work, I have to say that this glorious dose of torture trumps even those classic works in my opinion. Though seemingly original and quirky on initial impressions, I have come to realise that a lot of the influences that forged this CD are actually very familiar to me. As with Lil' Beethoven, Ron and Russell are obviously influenced, heavily, by the early works of Philip Glass - with both Einstein on The Beach and Northstar being referenced musically throughout. But other obvious echoes are of Lou Reed - "The very next time.." could be lifted straight from "Magic and Loss", Frank Zappa, Brian Eno, Devo and Laurie Anderson.
Impressive as Lil' Beethoven was, this is a huge leap forward. There is not a bad moment on the whole CD, though at a push I would vote for " As I sit to play the organ.." as my favourite track.
It is no hyperbole though to warn potential listeners that this CD will destroy any hope of a peaceful night's sleep. These tunes are designed to bore their way into your head and repeat ad infinitum. If you thought "take me out" by Franz Ferdinand was bad... this is ten times more infectious.
But it is a price worth paying. If you like something with complexity, intelligence and innovation.. get this! You will not be disappointed.... just really really tired and distracted.
A gem of a CD. Well done Ron and Russell. You are forgiven for all the TERRIBLE rubbish you've foisted on us in the past.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inventive 9 Jan 2006
Format:Audio CD
The most inventive band in art-rock has done it again. A magnificent piece of music. If you are tired and bored of listening to music in general, and want to revitalize your pleasure of listening to music, I will strongly recommend this album. It´s noisy, repetetive with exciting instrumental changes, tempo changes, catchy, lyrically hilarious and cool. A playful blend of musical genres. Love it or hate it, I´ll guarantee you will not feel indifferent. And you´ll probably also buy the last album, Li´l Beethoven, which numerously rock-critics reviewed as a "masterpiece of pop art". Challenge yourself!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I D-I-G Sparks 9 Feb 2006
By Eve
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
What can I add that hasn't already been written by the other glowing reviews? Not much probably but I will try.
Don't be put off thinking they're 'that 70's band' although they are.
Do buy this album and prepare to brought in to a fan club that spans some of musics finest and newest(Morrissey, Bjork, Faith No More, Franz Ferdinand, I'll stop there).
This album has a theme, I don't mean like The Whos'Tommy, I mean like all the tracks are to do with relationships, from the weird and somewhat creepy idea of firemen rescuing cats to meet women on Here Kitty to the emotionally immune on Waterproof.
The most immediate tracks for me were,
Perfume - a guy who prefers your natural aroma since perfumes remind him of past women.
Baby Baby (can I invade your country?) - Political or sexual? you decide.
Metaphor - Get your coat luv you've pulled.
Waterproof - For those who've missed the older style of Sparks should love this. I was jumping round the room.
If I were to find a fault it would be that a couple of tracks, to those used to the 3 minute pop song, may find their attention span wandering but that probably says more about how bland mainstream music has become more than a criticism of those continue to push and blur the boundaries.
Nice work fellas.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Open those ears guys & gals 22 July 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Abandon you're expectations as the disc hits the player. Verbal and musical games have always been Sparks forte, they've almost invented the rule book. This album is a suprising reframing of earlier Sparks preoccupations through an expanded Li'l Beethoven filter. Ron's lyrical preoccupation/neurosis with the various ways to get or loose a girlfriend, continues in songs such as 'Perfume','Waterproof'and 'Dick Around' to name but three. Add to that the sublimely dotty 'Here Kitty' and the subtle lyrical subversiveness of 'baby,baby.let me invade your country'this seems to me to be an album of quite a few new departures. I read a newspaper review which thought the latter track was clumsy and heavy handed, can't agree I'm afraid. For me its just one of the many musical highlights of this album. Question:have the Mael Brothers got patners or is their sibling relationship enough for them ?
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Offering 13 Jan 2006
Format:Audio CD
After over 30 years in the business you would think the brothers Mael would have run out of new ideas. Just try listening to this stunning new offering and you'll be amazed.
Despite being best known for many classic 70's offerings Sparks have never been away and this their 20th album confirms they are back to their best.
Everything is used on here (layered vocals, crashing guitars,orchestral backing and 10 excellent new songs) Buy it you won't be disappointed and put this band back in the eyes of the fickle British public.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
i have loved since i was a.kid am 56 now so no more
Published 1 month ago by mark
3.0 out of 5 stars Average
The album is very well produced. It seems to have a theme running through the album but could'nt pinpoint what point they were trying to get across. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jimothy Hardlines
5.0 out of 5 stars A delicious sumptuous musical feast or a psychopathic aural assault?
Extraordinary! On first listening I thought WTF is this? I wasn't sure I had made a good purchase. After four listenings it was growing on me. Read more
Published 15 months ago by simben
3.0 out of 5 stars An album of extremes (An unsycophantic review)
What do a band do after they release what is considered a masterpiece? 'Lil' Beethoven Part 2'? Go off in a completely new direction? Unfortunately Sparks did neither. Read more
Published on 15 Feb 2011 by K. J. Greenland
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Group...EVER.
Sparks seem more at peace with themselves now, making music in their own home which seems to suit them as this album knocks modern music for six. Read more
Published on 21 Aug 2009 by JUDE
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it, but...
I came to this as more or less a Sparks virgin and, well, I don't know. The melodies are really strong. The arrangements are fantastic: multilayered, full, lush and dramatic. Read more
Published on 17 July 2009 by elmsyrup
4.0 out of 5 stars Great
You just have to look at all the reviews to realise how good this album is. I hadn't really thought about this group since the 70's until i saw them in the local library. Read more
Published on 16 Jun 2007 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars As good as at their 70s peak!
I've always toyed with Sparks, rather than being their biggest fan - I have to be in a particular mood to enjoy their music. Read more
Published on 29 April 2007 by alextorres
4.0 out of 5 stars It's good but...
Lil Beethoven was far superior. Perhaps it was the thrill of having seen Lil Beethoven live before buying the CD. Read more
Published on 22 Mar 2007 by Chinese Visa Direct
4.0 out of 5 stars great music - avoid the vinyl
Well - the headline says it all: believe all the rave reviews of this album, there's so much to enjoy both music- and lyric-wise. The Sparks are back with a vengeance! Read more
Published on 21 Sep 2006 by thomas12321
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