Sparks: First Date

Sparks is a band that I have heard a lot about, mostly from friends who know my tastes and have strongly suggested that they’d be “right up my alley”. Sparks has been on my to-do list for a number of years, but for some reason or another I’ve never made them a priority.

I never see them in magazines, polls or otherwise, nobody seems to wax nostalgic in blog postings about these guys, and from what I have read (after searching online, etc) they are most likely remembered for Kimono My House and subsequently been labeled as a sort of a novelty act. So, you know, out of sight out of mind, I suppose.

I also thought they were British. Their apparent goofiness tipped me in that direction. And, in a weird way, the brothers Mael always reminded me of those 2 guys from Yello. See photos below…Right? Right?

 mael1mael2

Anyway, this week I decided to take the plunge and found 3 Sparks albums I thought, thanks to Allmusic and other sources, would be as good a place as any to start. They were:

kimonoKimono My House

no 1 in heavenNo. 1 In Heaven

angstAngst In My Pants

OK, yes, these are my kind of weirdo’s. The singer, Russell Mael, sounds a little like Justin Hawkins from The Darkness, and can be an acquired taste, I’m sure. The music, for these three albums, ranges from Queen-like guitar and piano bashing to Broadway to power pop to Giorgio Moroder influenced straight ahead disco. And so far I’m digging it! No. 1 In Heaven, the disco one, is my favorite to date, followed by Kimono and then Angst, but all are pretty terrific. I’m not sure if I just got lucky picking these three or what, but whatever the case I’m intrigued enough to go deeper.

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