Lots of sparkling as well as grimy electronica. Not the most innovative tune or rhythm but a solid mover nevertheless. A track that will forever be associated with Cate Blanchett’s gyrating on the video and live at Glastonbury.
Classy meditation on the joys and perils of being a famous movie star with ‘peek-a-booy hair’ imitated by so many. Seen as inappropiate in a time of war, due to factory girls getting their flowing locks caught in machinery. An insistent and hypnotic rhythm with an electric glockenspiel vibe.
A bit old school Sparks this one, with chugging guitars and that sense of disappointment with the world. A new born baby expressing its disgust at what it has been brought into after the peacefulness of the womb. ‘This is not a place I could ever stand. Ugliness, anxiety, phony tans’ indeed.
Gorgeous simplicity. The kind of thing only Sparks can get away with. A hook and an almost 1940s idea of melody accompanying a modern electronic background. Sort of folky Kraftwerk and another homage to a mechanical object, like ‘Lawnmower.’
Packed with electronica, brass and echoey percussion. There’s a sense of ramshackleness behind it which gives it an uneasy feel. The idea that even the Mona Lisa is sick of this place and wants out is perfectly summed up with ‘it’s not become impossible for her to smile/So she’s gonna take a credit card and rack up miles.’
More fabulously dirty, scrunchy noise and a wash of reverb in the magical instrumental breaks. The ‘turn the pages’ chorus is a little flat, atmosphere wise I mean, and there’s a certain over eagerness to try and introduce different tangents. I keep waiting for it to ‘take off’ though.
Nice alternating dynamism, which ironically is very well defined and cleverly structured. especially the string sections. ‘A photograph after too much wine’ is a nice touch, expressing the vague blurriness of some people’s personality.
Sinister and jerky. A comment on the choreographed nature of North Korea with marching and atonal stabs. The other worldliness and crazy visuals interpreted through western values is perfectly evoked. ‘I got a baby who kills it in olive drab/She is what decadent westerners might call “fab”‘ A strange dance to be sure.
Fairly straightforward tune and arrangement, but hilarious scenario of preparations for a good riddance type leaving do which the protagonist decides to scupper. I love the definition of good music as ‘The Stylistics, The Spinners, The Delfonics’
Exorcist/Tubular Bells type beginning, and overall sounds like a film soundtrack, complete with timpani rolls, that’s had a song stuck on top of it. Messy but fun.
Not what you’d expect from a ‘sunny’ song. Very melancholic and heavy on the strings. As downbeat as Sparks get, and almost poignant. The feeling of alienation, so prevalent in many Sparks tunes, is to the fore here.
Back to the heavy electronica with a very satisfying one note keyboard motif popping up all the time. Naturally, it’s not your usual love story, as the boy waits in a queue to buy drugs for his girlfriend. ‘Ain’t my thing, it’s her thing.’
A very conventional chord and song structure, starting with acoustic guitar and building with strings and piano. ‘Do it once, and you’re defined, do it twice and you’re divine’ is an intriguing line, as is the phrase ‘No choke down song.’ Tries a twist at the end, but like the subject matter sounds resigned to its fate and restrained.
More melancholia. Regrets? A few. A sad reflection, putting on a brave/false face. Typical of Sparks to end on a down note with a song called ‘Gee, That Was Fun.’ It’s hard being sad and cynical, but the cynicism here is laid bare for what it is: ‘I’m not bitter, it’s a fact. Seeming assured was just an act of mine.’