Sparks live is a weird thing. For several years they toured with a "band" consisting of Ron, Russell and a drummer and although fantastic to see them live the gigs, each one enormous fun, seemed to lack a little punch, musically. When Lil' Beethoven came out, the live band was expanded to include guitar and some of the punch returned... with Hello Young lovers, they included a bassist and essentially, the classic Spark lineup returned. The gigs were amazing.
Now they do a live album, their first, and they've gone back to just keyboard a voice.
To me,this seems like a retrograde step.
There's nothing wrong with reinterpreting your oeuvre, that pretty much Sparks raison d'être, but for me, this album simply doesn't work and I'm secretly pleased I couldn't get to the gigs. One or two of the songs, most notably Sherlock Holmes and the sublime Singing In the shower, really benefit from this treatment, but the rest of the albums sound like one of the "intimate" encores they used to do. Which is fine as an encore, but as a whole album?
Thing is, its Sparks, and a bad Sparks album is still streets ahead of most other bands career defining albums. But Two Hands One Mouth, to this fans ears, seems a little lacklustre.