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VINE VOICEon 28 August 2017
The Mael brother continue to invent, entertain and surprise after what must be more than 40 years making music. Hello Young Lovers is a continuation of the brilliant Lil Beethoven album style . Full of lush sounding big production numbers, catchy ear worm like phrases and a heavy doses of humour. I recommend you stop dicking around and buy it.
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VINE VOICEon 9 February 2006
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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on 28 February 2006
Having heard the album for the first time live at the lowrey in Manchester - a live performance is possibly the most unforgiving environment to hear a new work. However with this album it was the perfect introduction as the intelligent and witty visual presentations which accompanied the performance really brought out the very best the album has to offer. It is an interesting mixture of the highly eclectic and minimalistic lil beethoven style of sparks meeting head on with classic 70s sparks. There is more of a conventional pop feel about some tracks and several of the keyboard and vocal tone colours used are reminsicent of the album indiscreet.(On the live gig they played a couple of indicreet tracks including happy hunting ground and in the future)The 3/4 meter of "theres no such thing as aliens" is very similar to the 3/4 "under the table with her" of the indiscreet album. Waterproof is almost a classic sparks pop/rock song. Even the chordal movement of the guitar parts are very similar to the guitar style of those 70s years. But this is far far removed from that era and this album is a testament to the innovative and stubborn way sparks take the music (and their fans) kicking and screaming into new soundscapes quite unlike any others in popular music. This album is tremendous. It isn't easy to listen to and nor should it be. It is challenging and won't suit the many folk who are happy to lap up nice tunes and pretty melodies from the pop idols of the new millenium. It maybe isn't quite as ground breaking as lil beethoven as it does build on that style (which was already clearly evolved in itself from earlier offerings - the repetitive vocal lines being a clear development of the repetitive chordal structures used to such wonderful effect on the gratuitous sax album) but what it does is fuse the two eras together. There are some real gems on this album. Perfume, Dicking around, Can I invade your country, Metaphor (parts of the backing remind me of that harpsichord based 60s sound as found in the original charlie and the chocolate factory!) The final track (Notre Dame cathedral etc.) grows and grows in stature as you listen and become comfortable with the innovative structure of the piece. They play on the fact the form of the music isn't the usual verse chorus middle format of most pop songs. This is Sparks once again producing relevant, thought provoking and influential music which is, as always deserving of a much wider audience. However quite what a wider audience would make of it who knows! What I do know is this album again places Ron and Russel among the true innovators of contemporary music and the sooner they are recognised as such and Melvyn Bragg does a south bank show on them the better! In fact 2 shows are needed, one to demontrate their influences on synth pop and the other to show what they are up to now.
Just buy the album so they can continue to deliver such wonderful delights to amuse and delight everyone and continue to inspire all generations of musicians.
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on 24 February 2006
Blimey! It's only February and the album of the year has been released, as I can't see anything else topping this.
Sparks are one of pop's true originals and despite not receiving the acclaim and reverence they deserve, continue to make music that is original and refreshing without forgetting the importance of melody.
There are touches of the 70's Sparks on tracks like "Waterproof" and Russell's voice sounds as good as ever.
Not many bands can, on their 20th album, produce something as original as this. It truly sounds like nothing else and deserves to sell millions around the world.
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on 4 June 2013
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. This isn't background music and can't be called easy listening, it demands attention. If you prefer your music innovative and original, with a touch of humour then this could be for you.
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on 9 January 2006
Since the early 70's the brothers Mael have been influencing new generations of fans and bands (just ask Justin Hawkins and Franz Ferdinand) without gaining the recognition they should. Having just heard 4 of the tracks from this, their latest offering, I can say, without doubt, that it is worth the money for any one of them. Dick Around is a masterpiece - try keeping it out of your mind overnight and then try singing it at your next Karaoke and you will never master either. Metaphor is masterful, Waterproof is a singalong classic to rival the best and the single, Perfume, is hypnotic. If you haven't tried them before do so now and, when you are hooked, you will be so glad that there are another 19 albums to get your teeth into afterwards.
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on 17 March 2016
Love it, love it, love it! OK so Sparks have lots of albums to choose from, but this for me is one of their very best. Oh those lyrics!!!! Thank you Sparks!!
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on 8 February 2018
The product was very battered.
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on 18 December 2015
Brilliant Sparks - superb.
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on 4 April 2016
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