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Not Dicken Around,
This review is from: Hello Young Lovers (Audio CD)
All these years and the Mael Brothers continue to make wonderfully eccentric records. "Hello Young Lovers" opens with the hysterically operatic "Dick Around," and concludes with the minimalist sexual cascade of "As I Sit Down To Play The Organ At The Notre Dame Cathedral." Queen would be proud. Or, for that matter, so would Faith No More, who's collaboration with the Maels on "Plagiarism" closely resembles the opening track here. Inbetween is the glorious pop mayhem that has been what Sparks fans have always relished.
Some of the more interesting cuts include the tiger versus the philandering firefighter of "Here Kitty" (the sound effects of which drive my house diva Sophie Cat here crazy), the brand for every girl he knows "Perfume," and the delightfully twisted lover's lament of "Rock Rock Rock." Since oddball characters are often a Sparks stock-in-trade, then you will swoon over the jealous boyfriend of "The Very Next Fight" and the frustrated pipe pumper of "As I Sit Down..." There's even a pointed political swipe at Bush/Blair in "Baby Baby Can I Invade Your Country," giving credit to Francis Scott Key!
Since Sparks obviously have no pressure to conform to expectations of commercial success, Ron and Russell are out to please nobody but themselves. With "Hello Young Lovers" (and "Little Beethoven" from a few years back), I am happy to be given this eclectic reminder that there are still pop and rock bands that march to their own drummers. It's 30 years into their career and Sparks are still striking.