Acoustic strumming to start then launches into a fairly straightforward guitar/drums song structure revolving around the title, a decent enough riff and interesting enough counterpoints to keep you interested. It’s a also a hilarious reflective debate about the pros and cons of being a dick because “we know a dick is always made not born.”
Recorded in the Hippopotamus sessions and originally only available as a limited edition vinyl 7″ for Record Store Day USA 2017. Snazzy reverberating guitar sound pulsing away at times and a heady heavy beat for good measure. This song insists you love it and so you should. Quality of lyric upheld throughout, including this belter: “People say forever and they think they really mean it. But in fact they just demean it by just saying it, that’s all.”
Inspired imagining of a reality show about the Macbeths. A gorgeous ballad which chills your bones. Featuring a simply fabulous performance by opera singer Rebecca Sjöwall who’s “soar!” is magnificent. For those hooked on boxsets and gore, though, a warning: “One season, that’s all you’ll see.”
Abandoned funfair type atmospheric noises to start with before blossoming out into an anthem about “Fun! Joy! Love!” There’s an air of dejection and insincerity behind the sentiment, but an achingly beautiful melody because of it. Ironic ecstasy.
Love the rumbling reverb and machine gun rhythm rolling through this. I haven’t a clue what it’s about, although considering he can only appear on the news after ten “so kids are all asleep and he can be talked about honestly” it appears Mr Repeat is some kind of non-stop sexual olympian who feels he’s being exploited as a circus freak. OK.
Featuring an actual French director, Leos Carax. Going overboard with the clichés, this drunken waltz is stuffed with accordions and “lalala”s. Marvellous. Also, a wonderful definition of an auteur – “every scene must be obscure as hell.”
Chugs along with a lot of action happening on just one chord. Cramming in the title as the chorus line is quite the skill. You get the impression they just might have come up with the title first. Being bored at the theatre and missing your bus cos it would be rude to leave early interweaves with the historical joke. It’s a killer song though, with “dararat” chants and my favourite bit of sweet melody in the “What lies underneath it all?” lines.
A lighter touch and a deceptively simple tune. Its airiness is compounded by a whole stack of unashamedly catchy “Lalala”‘s. A bold way to compliment someone, “In every other way I find you amazing but one – I wish you were fun.” And to add insult to injury, comparing them to notoriously dull Objectivist, “Ayn Rand, humourless to the Nth degree.” What larks.
The “never, never, never know”‘s are doing all the heavy lifting here. A rollicking good romp, but the “bummer” bits just don’t carry it enough. Yet again, death is the main talking point. If it wasn’t for all the uplifting music on this album, you’d imagine it to be pretty sombre. Anyway, onwards!
I first heard this when I saw them do it live and was astounded by the hilarious lyric as it progressed all the way to “a woman with an abacus.” They just don’t dull with age and there’s no-one else out there mixing up Hieronymus Bosch and Titus Andronicus, I’m pretty sure. I don’t care if it’s considered ‘novelty,’ this is imaginative fare, way beyond the grasp of most ‘serious’ musicians.
Fab thumping bass groove behind this, a tale of blissful ignorance of all the detritus life throws around. You often wonder just how Sparks can conjure up a ridiculously addictive melody from a single word, in this case, “unaware” and make it sound like a pop classic. That’s real genius that is, as is the ambiguity in the lyrics is “she” a baby? It would seem so, given all she knows of is her parents’ “faces like two clowns.”
An irritated God rears his weary head again as humankind continues to annoy him. He’s got better things to do with his time than to be fussed by tittle tattle and, in a surprise development, “If Arsenal wins, he really don’t care.” An incredibly infectious tune with a substantial heft and neat little touches. Majestic.
As daft as you’d expect. The descending melody after the various giddy bits is a neat touch which seems to add to the giddiness. Throughout, you’re made to feel dizzy by the actual music and the endless repetition of the title has the desired effect of rendering its meaning nonsensical. Should you veer from the warped path, soon you’ll be “Glad to know you’re back to giddy.” Give it a spin.
Singing about furniture and dancing about architecture is not unusual for Sparks as this classy number shows. The title is a great hook and the song itself perfectly structured. I shall not make an Ikea joke. As so often, there’s a loose woman in there too and a lovely wee harpsichord and slide guitar twist near the end. Solid.
The atmosphere of wistful old age reflection with which the Hippopotamus album starts continues with this homage to the mightiest little sparrow of French song. Always on top form when covering continental heroes and heroines, the acknowledgement that it’s now too late to “live fast and die young” adds extra emotional oomph to this one. Formidable.
An ode to less adventurous sexual athletics – “the acrobats, well, they tend to scoff.” Only Sparks could get away with elevating the mundane to such heroic “neoclassicist” heights. Kind of an old school Sparks guitar sound to this too and sparkling piano. Incredible to hear Russell’s falsetto still in fine shape.
Short and very touching little vignette on the subject of forgetting what you were about to say and being vexed by your forgetfulness and the recipient’s “mild disappointment.” Can relate strongly here. All done to a simple piano until the last two words where strings and cymbal join in. Sweet.