10 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After two albums of pure electronic ecstasy, Sparks reconnected with the operatic rock sound of their early career on 1981’s Whomp That Sucker. Scurrying, trilling, and fluttering, Russell Mael’s voice hadn't been this acrobatic since the mid-'70s. And even though the album was fashioned under Giorgio Moroder’s production company, its songs de-emphasize Moroder’s metronomic beat in favor of good old-fashioned turned-up drums and guitar. The songwriting is strong, but more importantly, the Maels were having fun. Topics include junk food (“Tips for Teens”), space aliens (“I Married a Martian”), and a song about safaris, sung from the animals' point of view (“Don’t Shoot Me”). There's a love song written for a safety-obsessed geek (“Suzie Safety”) and one for the German actress/model Nastassja Kinski (“That’s Not Nastassja”). As with Sparks' early albums, an abundance of electricity and kinetic energy runs through the album, precluding any possibilities of dullness or flatness. Once again, Sparks showed it was possible to be smart and silly, brawny, and deeply absurd, delightful and totally illogical.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After two albums of pure electronic ecstasy, Sparks reconnected with the operatic rock sound of their early career on 1981’s Whomp That Sucker. Scurrying, trilling, and fluttering, Russell Mael’s voice hadn't been this acrobatic since the mid-'70s. And even though the album was fashioned under Giorgio Moroder’s production company, its songs de-emphasize Moroder’s metronomic beat in favor of good old-fashioned turned-up drums and guitar. The songwriting is strong, but more importantly, the Maels were having fun. Topics include junk food (“Tips for Teens”), space aliens (“I Married a Martian”), and a song about safaris, sung from the animals' point of view (“Don’t Shoot Me”). There's a love song written for a safety-obsessed geek (“Suzie Safety”) and one for the German actress/model Nastassja Kinski (“That’s Not Nastassja”). As with Sparks' early albums, an abundance of electricity and kinetic energy runs through the album, precluding any possibilities of dullness or flatness. Once again, Sparks showed it was possible to be smart and silly, brawny, and deeply absurd, delightful and totally illogical.

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