the trouble is that when listening to this album , i automatically compare it to the early albums . in itself , i would class it as fairly good... a generous 6/10.the album sounds dated now and has a mid eighties "sheen" over it.
Excellent 1983 studio album from the Mael Brothers, this is as good as the superb Angst In My Pants that preceded it and slightly better than the patchy Pulling Rabbits Out Of A Hat that came after it.
Quirky, Intelligent and frequently hilarious, Sparks were and still are in a class of their own.
I can't wait to hear their recent collaborative work with Franz Ferdinand sometime in 2015.
After the seriously high-brow synths.of Terminal Jive,(perhaps as John Lydon would say as Terminal Boredom) our boys are back with a vengance,turning all that Germanic electronic knowledge to good use,to produce what they do best,that is catchy ,fun and wacky (hence the custard pie cover) tunes. No,seriously, Sparks- lovers, this one pulsates with electronic pop energy,from the outset,with the rollicking Cool Places with Russ duetting with a local Go-Go gal on two toe-tapping tracks.Wit abounds in Sports (good for spinning),the highly sarcastic pastiche Rocking Girls("you're the only girl I know who hates Hey Jude.." and the deadpan Dance Godammit. Lyrical Romance is provided With All my Might("the mountains may crumble" and Lucky Me Lucky You. And you'll be lucky too if you get this perfect pop masterpiece.There, I've had my say.
Another change of direction for the Mael brothers, this time to a kind of Kraftwerk-esque minimal synthpop. The album kicks off with their biggest US hit - Cool Places, it's success certainly helped by the inclusion of guest vocals by Jane Wiedlin (her group The Go-Go's were huge stars in the USA at this time). The song itself is breezy and slight, and not demonstrative of how utterly wonderful Sparks can be at their best. The album's other single - All You Ever Think About Is Sex is better and funnier, with classic Ron Mael lines such as "Think about the places; We've had our little fun; In the church at Christmas; Busted by that nun". With other lyrical highlights such as "And you're the only girl I ever met who hates Hey Jude; Maybe that's the reason that I'm so in love with you" (Rockin' Girls) and "I went to high school; And majored in looking real bad; I got a real ugly mom; And a real ugly dad" (I Wish I Looked A Little Better), this is definitely one of Sparks' funniest albums.
Spark 1980's output was radically different to their 1970's Island years and is much maligned in some areas. Although this album doesn't reach the dizzy heights of Kimono My House or later masterpieces such as Lil' Beethoven, it's still a very enjoyable album with some great songs. (If you can get past the quintessentially 1980's production!)