I love this band!
Why, you ask? Where do I start?
I'll try to answer that question by asking another question....
Name a band/artist that has been around as long as Sparks that has not sold their soul, stopped evolving, gone through the motions, repeated a winning formula, taken themselves far too seriously, or released at least one crap album?
Neil Young? I love the guy, but there's a few turkeys in his arsenal - Everybody's rocking, Old ways, Fork in the road to name but a few.
David Bowie? You obviously missed the eighties?
Nick Cave? Yeah, I can accept that. But Sparks have been doin' it a decade longer!
Sparks have successfully steered clear any of the aforementioned heinous pop crimes.....errr, so maybe they repeated themselves on Plagiarism, by covering their own songs, but hey, they managed to bring something new to those songs, and gave the album an ironic title!
While I can't say I like all musical genres the band has explored, they have pulled it off well without coming across as opportunistic, phony, or insincere.
So what genre do we have on this here opus, Hello Young Lovers?
Everyone's favorite (NOT!) - chamber pop! But it's fantabby-hooby-tastic!
Opener Dick Around metamorphoses from chamber pop into a galloping heavy rock tune with crunchy guitars - although that's about the extent of the divergence from the chamber pop theme. That bastion of good taste, the BBC, found it necessary to protect the great unwashed masses by banning the Dick Around single. Imagine the carnage that may have occurred if the song was broadcast during peak hour traffic!
As usual, there are some great song titles and lyrics! The Very Next Fight is about a dude who can't stand other men looking at his woman! Metaphor features the chorus "Chicks dig dig D-I-G dig dig" metaphors. Why couldn't they have told me that 20 years ago - I could have been a contender!
And I hope someone sent Neil Young a copy of (Baby, Baby) Can I Invade Your Country. It succeeds much better at addressing the ridiculousness of George Dubya and his invasion of Iraq than Neil's turgid and earnest lyrics on Living with War.
And what's this - There's No Such Thing As Aliens? Surely the existence of Sparks is proof against that theory?
Sparks - 2006 - Hello Young Lovers