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Sparks / Hello Young Lovers
Album:Hello Young Lovers Collection:General
Artist:Sparks Added:06/2006
Label:In the Red Records 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2006-07-02 Pull Date:2006-09-03 
Week Ending:3 Sep27 Aug20 Aug13 Aug6 Aug30 Jul23 Jul16 Jul
Airplays:41212112

Recent Airplay
1.Fri, 16 May 08:Wedge
Sparks: 36 Years, 20 Albums, No Recognition
4.Sun, 25 Mar 07:Wedge
Rorschach's Dance
2.Mon, 17 Dec 07:Wedge
Rorschach's Dance
5.Sun, 14 Jan 07:Wedge
Rorschach's Dance: Pieces to Fall
3.Sun, 11 Nov 07:Wedge
Rorschach's Dance
6.Thu, 04 Jan 07:Wedge
Lines and Dots

Album Review
Craig Matsumoto
Reviewed 2006-07-30 
Operatic, theatrical pop music -- lots of orchestral synths and massively overdubbed vocals for a big, grand sound. Songs do tend to be highly repetitious, which can be alluringly hypnotic (e.g., #3 works for me, even though it shouldn't). Contains traces of what I'd call a classical minimalist influence (intros to 4 and 10). Definitely a "different" sound but I've squeezed it into indie-pop and even jazz sets. Give it a shot!

Sparks is a 35-year-old underground pop band that's had a few hits in Europe but is unknown in the States. They had one blip of U.S. success circa 1982-3 as a synth-pop act, but mostly they've played either glam rock (1971-78) or dance/disco (1986-1995).

This stuff is neither -- it's a new sound that started with their previous album ("Li'l Beethoven," not in our library).


***1- A kick-ass, operatic tour de force in the tradition of Bohemian Rhapsody. Lots of phases in 7 minutes, with fast choir-like vocals, dense lyrics, and some jazzy bits.... but the highlight is when the GUITAR kicks in (Dean Menta, ex of Faith No More) for some crushing, albeit simple, hard-rock moments. Lyrics are even serious, about a yuppie exec who descends into apathy when his girlfriend dumps him. A song that must be heard.

**2- Poppy single, a catchy minor-key blip listing names of women and perfume.
4- National Anthem lyrics and a chorus of : "Can I Invade Your Country?" (Meaning? You decide.) Upbeat.
6- Speak-singing about how "chicks dig metaphors." A bit of a hard-edged, jaded sound
7- Ultra sugary poppy song, with cynical lyrics about a cold-hearted bastard. Kicks into faster mode at the end.
*8- Doo-wop singing and some jazzy blue-note turns. About a fireman who rescues stranded kitties, and one day is called to save a tiger
9- Melodramatic, theatrical. Unsure what it's about but the title is funny
*10- The Experimental One. Opens with a John Adams kind of minimalist pulse -- fast repeating patter. Then a weird chromatic-scale riff that'll be the centerpiece of the rest of the song. Lots of "Hallelujahs," but it's not a religious song -- it's about the Notre Dame organ player picking up women in the congregation.

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