Sparks prove that sometimes you really can go home again on a refreshing, engaging new album – their first on Island Records since the group’s glorious 70s run. The title track – with its Cate Blanchett enhanced viral video – may well be familiar to you, but there’s so much explore here. Piquant and literate, the refreshing wit of ‘Nothing Is As Good As They Say It Is’ sits neatly alongside the playful emotional pull of ‘Mona Lisa’s Packing, Leaving Late Tonight’.
A record that dials into their core values, ‘The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte’ feels like vintage Sparks, while also refusing to rest on their laurels. Glamorous but never glam, funny without resorting to casual sarcasm, their arch style is married to a form of songwriting that aims for the heart. Take ‘You Were Meant For Me’, and its heart-on-sleeve evocation of love and companionship. Expertly curated, a visit to this new record feels like a short walk around an art gallery, with the Mael siblings as your guide. Far from dipping into past glories, the Mael brothers continue their storied run on a stylish, impactful record that illuminates their continued engagement with the wonder of the pop song.
Words: Robin Murray
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