9 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After living in England and enjoying success abroad with several albums, Russell and Ron Mael returned to Los Angeles with an eye to nurturing their career on home turf. Introducing Sparks took old fans — and a warmed-up crowd of newbies — to a new level of appreciation for the band’s sophisticated take on contemporary rock. In a neat, smartly produced, nine-track package, Introducing Sparks delivered fantastically solid, catchy, memorable songs that still delight decades later. The curious could easily use the ridiculously fun “Goofing Off” or the equally brilliant “Occupation” as entrée to Sparks’ world of smart songwriting and wry humor, as both showcase some of the band’s best work ever. “Goofing Off” picks up speed and roils along like a vodka-soaked Russian folk song:  “We've got two days/to try to forget/a week of crap and crud/and we've got two days, so get over here/we're gonna goof ... off ... goood... / Goofing off! Goofing off! It’s the only thing I gladly do for free!” The track “Ladies” is a bubbly, piano driven, pinkie-in-the-air ode to the loveliness of  “ladies” of the time, from Dinah Shore to Betty Crocker, and “Forever Young” is a Bowie-esque rocker celebrating youth. They matched the Beach Boys on “Over the Summer” in making a perfect, summery pop song, and our own childhood wonderment is recalled in the delightful “Those Mysteries.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

After living in England and enjoying success abroad with several albums, Russell and Ron Mael returned to Los Angeles with an eye to nurturing their career on home turf. Introducing Sparks took old fans — and a warmed-up crowd of newbies — to a new level of appreciation for the band’s sophisticated take on contemporary rock. In a neat, smartly produced, nine-track package, Introducing Sparks delivered fantastically solid, catchy, memorable songs that still delight decades later. The curious could easily use the ridiculously fun “Goofing Off” or the equally brilliant “Occupation” as entrée to Sparks’ world of smart songwriting and wry humor, as both showcase some of the band’s best work ever. “Goofing Off” picks up speed and roils along like a vodka-soaked Russian folk song:  “We've got two days/to try to forget/a week of crap and crud/and we've got two days, so get over here/we're gonna goof ... off ... goood... / Goofing off! Goofing off! It’s the only thing I gladly do for free!” The track “Ladies” is a bubbly, piano driven, pinkie-in-the-air ode to the loveliness of  “ladies” of the time, from Dinah Shore to Betty Crocker, and “Forever Young” is a Bowie-esque rocker celebrating youth. They matched the Beach Boys on “Over the Summer” in making a perfect, summery pop song, and our own childhood wonderment is recalled in the delightful “Those Mysteries.”

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