• Sparks - Big Beat [1976]

    27 Dec 2011, 10:32 by DerekBowie

    Okay, here’s the thing: I don’t like Big Beat. I don’t like the sound and I don’t particularly like any of the songs. At least, I think I don’t. The thing about disliking an album is that it doesn’t get listened to all that much, which makes it quite difficult to a) remember accurately and b) discuss. So what I am going to do, in this extremely-delayed next instalment of my Sparks reviews, is listen to Big Beat and then develop and share my opinions on the matter. Here we go.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/45/Big_Beat_-_Sparks.jpg
    It is a serious, serious shame that I don’t like this album because this is the best cover up to this point and it would be lovely to look at it more often.

    First up on Big Beat is Big Boy. From the very beginning, this does not sound even slightly like the Sparks I know. I genuinely feel like Russell’s vocal track has just been planted on some big-noise 70s band. There’s nothing smart about the lyrics or exceptional about the vocals. …
  • Indiscreet - Sparks

    26 May 2009, 08:27 by DerekBowie

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2a/Indiscreet_-_Sparks.jpg

    Indiscreet is a trickier proposition for a review than Kimono My House or Propaganda have been. As I have said previously, KMH pretty much knocked me out of my seat the first time I heard it, and I think was gushing into this journal by the third track, something I honestly do very little of at all. I listened to nothing else that evening. As far as immediacy goes, I know of no better album. Propaganda took a little longer, but the ingredients were really very similar, so I knew what to expect and, for the most part, got it. So far, so easy.

    Now, I am ashamed but unsurprised that on first listen, I dismissed Indiscreet as "annoying", and moved on. I have had similar reactions to Damned Damned Damned ("just noise"), The Idiot ("tries too hard")and Roxy Music ("pretentious"), all of which have been smashed for six by now. Let me try to remember/justify what I felt then.