Thursday, 2 September 2010

This is the Renaissance

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Until a few years ago my personal image of Sparks was in aspic - drollery, gunshots and Hitler mustaches in a Town not big enough for both of them. I owned none of their music bar the memories. Every so often I would see a review and note that they were still productive and think that I should check them out. Eventually I bought Kimono My House which I enjoyed and still enjoy (particularly the aforementioned '...Town..."

Then, A few (five, I checked) years ago I bought the Uncut compilation White Riot - A Tribute to The Clash. It was the usual mishmash of earnest and throwaway covers and some of interest apart from one standout track culled from the oft derided 'Cut The Crap' This was the chant like 'We Are The Clash' re imagined by Sparks as an ironic anthem. Most fans wouldn't consider the original to be by The Clash and two ageing Californians masquerading as German electro pop wizards certainly weren't. As well as irony however there was a genuine love of the song and a wash of sadness and celebration makes this a moving experience and one of the most played songs on my ipod.
This led me to buy the last but one album 'Hello Young Lovers' and what a discovery it was. 'Metaphor' and 'Perfume' were as good or better than '..Town...' and continue to repay repeated listens. Just this week I invested in their new album 'Exotic Creatures of the Deep' and it is of a similar quality. Songs like 'This is the Renaissance' and 'Lighten Up, Morrissey' manage to be immediate and also promise to repay repeated attention. Other songs argue their own merits and push for favourite status.

I look forward to their next step and the gaps in my collection remain a promise of irregular treats to myself when I need to once again remind myself of the deep pleasure that pop music can bring to your life.

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