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Sparks: A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing (reissue)

Sparks took their ever expanding and unique formula one step further on their sophomore release, 1972's A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing. Again, the combination of theatrical rock (or better known as glam), pop, early new wave, prog, and avant-garde styles gave the band a sound that was way ahead of its time. On this release that band really seemed to gel from a songwriting and musicianship standpoint, for as strong as the debut was, this follow-up takes things to another level.

Instrumentally speaking, there's a lot more going on here, from the intricate guitar and keyboard bits that accompany the quaint "Nothing is Sacred", the multi-layered use of harmony vocals which serve as another instrument alongside the symphonic keyboards on "Girl From Germany", and the use of classical instruments on the engaging "Here Comes Bob", a song that should easily please fans of early ELO. There's some good crunchy hard rock on this one as well, like "Moon Over Kentucky" and the hilarious "Beaver 0' Lindy" a song with lyrics and harmonies vocals that will really get you laughing. Russell Mael's creative vocal style propels songs like "Do Re Mi" and "Angus Desire" to new levels, as he adds his trademark vaudeville-meets-opera style, giving the songs a majestic and early 1900's feel. On the progressive "Underground", he really hits some high notes (almost like a young Geddy Lee from Rush) while the band lays down some intense and complex rhythms, with bassist Jim Mankey and drummer Harley Feinstein really grooving hard. Prog rock fans will really dig tha closer "Whippings and Apologies", a fun, quirky piece with nice use of organ and piano, giving the song a soaring and symphonic flair, while Earle Mankey adds in some inventive guitar licks. Plus, it doesn't hurt that the song is catchy as hell as well.

While the band would go on to record a few more albums in a similar style, eventually they would turn to a full blown direction to the synth-pop/new wave sounds that they hinted at over their first few albums. This would happen in the late 70's and continue through the remainder of their career, which still continues to this day. A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing remains a true classic in the Sparks discography, and the band would later churn out the equally popular albums Kimono My House, Propaganda, and Indiscreet.

Track Listing
1. Girl from Germany
2. Beaver O' Lindy
3. Nothing Is Sacred
4. Here Comes Bob
5. Moon Over Kentucky
6. Do-Re-Mi
7. Angus Desire
8. Underground
9. Louvre
10. Batteries Not Included
11. Whippings and Apologies

Added: May 18th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Sparks Website
Hits: 2320
Language: english

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