A celebration of the LP, the long-player, the album music format. Reviews, recommendations and discussion.

Kimono My House – Sparks (1974)


Due to circumstances both planned and unplanned which I won’t bore you with here this weeks album of the week ended up becoming album of the fortnight as I spent the last 14 days in the company of the brothers Mael and their Kimono My House record from 1974.

I’ll own up to not knowing a great deal about Sparks before listening to the LP. The only song I was familiar with was This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us (the opening track of this record), otherwise I was a Sparks virgin.

Well what a way to pop my Sparks cherry. There is so much to enjoy in this album. The opening track gets us off to a stunning start with it’s echoing chiming fade-in being joined by Russell Mael’s vocals mimicking the chiming intro, before a gunshot signals the start of something special.

The second track could well be my favourite (though there is some stiff competition). Amateur Hour is three minutes of infectious, handclap-riddled, echo-drenched pop perfection, I actually think I could listen to the chorus of this on repeat and never get tired of it.

Falling In Love With Myself Again sounds like a circus wurlizer gone slightly sinister whilst Here In Heaven (also in contention for best track) is all about the vocal acrobatics of the younger Mael brother.

What makes this album so special for me is that despite listening to it continuously for the last two weeks when I put it on it still feels like I’m hearing it for the first time. I don’t think I’ve even started to get all I can out of most of these tracks.

Musically it is complex, fun, interesting and inventive. Vocally it is extraordinary, exciting and unexpected**. It also seems to span many genres; it’s a little glam, a little pop, a little art rock. The closest band to Sparks at this time would I guess be Roxy Music but even whilst Eno was still with them the sound wasn’t quite this varied.

There isn’t a single bad track on this record and I have no hesitation in declaring this record a great album. Not only have I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with this LP but it’s also made me check out their history and back catalogue. I think it’s fairly certain Sparks will be making further appearances in this blog in the future.

This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us*
Amateur Hour*
Falling In Love With Myself Again
Here In Heaven*
Thank God It’s Not Christmas
Hasta Manana Monsieur
Talent Is An Asset
In My Family

* Standout Tracks (it was tempting to put a star next to them all)

**If anyone is familiar with the early 2000’s Irish indie band JJ72, have a listen to In My Family from this Sparks record…..turns out Mark Greaney (singer of said Irish band) was doing a pretty good Russell Mael impression the whole time!


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This entry was posted on February 3, 2013 by in Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .
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