Release Date: Mar 7, 2006
Record label: In The Red / Gut
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Why it is that after years or even decades some artists continue to thrill and entertain while others just burn out badly is one of those great mysteries, but in the example of Ron and Russell Mael, aka Sparks, they're firmly in the former category. Hello Young Lovers is their 20th studio album in 35 years, not to mention one of their best. Following on from their enjoyable all-classical instrumentation experiment, Lil' Beethoven, Sparks take their cue here from the album's one song that added full rock band instrumentation to all the strings, "Ugly Guys with Beautiful Girls.
So far removed are we from the roots of underground and cult music that if you mention Sparks to the youth of today, their eyes light up with thoughts of this crack-in-a-can alcoholic beverage that tastes like a collusion of ground-up SweeTarts and white cross tabs in a Zima. I’d hope that vocalist Russell Mael and his brother, keyboardist Ron Mael, who have been making music under the name Sparks for the past 25 years, are seeing some money from sales of that drink, though truthfully, it’s given out for free at so many parties I don’t know if anyone actually buys it. One could say the same about their career, at least stateside; after twenty albums, their name is still lost on the average person, despite the group having been on the crest of just about every worthwhile musical movement of the ‘70s, and as one of the true innovators of video content for a fledgling MTV.