SPARKS - Mael Intiution

  • specify your order
  • our price: $4.97
  • Out of stock

A well-chosen, 20-track compilation derived from the group's three best albums (Kimono My House, Propaganda, and Indiscreet), released during their brief, productive tenure with Island Records. Producers Muff Winwood (for the first two, harder-rocking albums) and Tony Visconti (the more varied and elaborately arranged Indiscreet) both provide the Mael brothers with solid, sympathetic settings for their witty, rapid-fire lyrics and manic delivery. Songs range from the aggressive riff of "At Home, at Work, at Play" (a precursor to the heavier sound of the 1976 album, Big Beat) to the uncanny Andrews Sisters evocation "Looks, Looks, Looks." Russell Mael's quavery falsetto is an acquired taste, and his vocal affectations can try the listener's nerves on prolonged exposure. Also, their tendency to deliver a few hundred lyrics in as many seconds makes interpretation a challenge, but their perverse humor rewards the effort. This is probably all the Sparks the casual fan needs.

"When most of us thought new wave was during the early '80s, it actually was conceived in the early '70s with Sparks back when it was considered glam-rock. This collection, however, draws mainly from their 3 albums[Kimono My House; Propaganda; and Indiscreet] released between 1974 and 1976. In fact these were the very same albums that my older sister had. Although the music featured here was then glam-rock yet it did pave way for the new wave craze which generated groups in the early '80s[Personally I prefer the pre-Valley Girl Sparks' sound musically]. "This Town Isn't Big Enough For The Both Of Us" serves as a great kick-off here just as it did on the Kimono album[Forget the Siouxsie And The Banshees' version for that matter]. "Hasta Manana Monsieur" is sheer power with a hard driving lead guitar line against a steady keyboard playing pace. Love the acapella work on the very brief title song from "Propaganda" before it shifts into "At Home, At Work, At Play" which delivers fantastic force. Russell Mael's vocal talents always fills in the gaps where needed as does his brother Ron on keyboards. "Achoo" is to me the most humorous of all Sparks' songs. Brings me back to my dawn of adolescence when playing a game of cards with my sister and she actually sneezed on one of the "achoo's" while it played on her stereo. This collection comprises about half the amount of material of each of the 3 albums mentioned. The intro of "Get In The Swing is somewhat similar to a high school pep rally as opposed to carnivalesque. What's amazing or should I say amusing is that tracks 14-20[from Indiscreet] were produced by Tony Visconti(Once married to singer Mary Hopkin and had also produced albums for T. Rex and David Bowie-more glam-rock acts) with orchestrated arrangements. "It Ain't 1918" is a mashed up with barnyard fiddle playing and barnstorming rock yet they blend well together. "In The Future" is a highly new wave forerunner which lives up to its title musically and, yes, each day is "getting closer and closer". To draw a wonderful conclusion to this set is the swing era reminiscent-like "Looks, Looks, Looks" with its all-out production making it like it's 1925 than 1975.

Still, you can't go wrong here. Mael Intuition-indeed!" - AMAZON