|SPARKS - EXOTIC CREATURES OF THE DEEP
REVIEW BY MARTIN TRUKSA
Sparks : Exotic Creatures Of The Deep (2008) :-
To showcase and bring attention to their latest CD ‘Exotic Creatures Of The Deep’, Sparks played a 21-show concert in London in mid 2008, known collectively as the ‘Sparks Spectacular’. The group performed a different album each night, starting with debut L.P. ‘Halfnelson’ from 1971, and concluding with their latest effort, 'Exotic Creatures Of The Deep' (2008). Whilst the albums were performed chronologically, there were some days off during the run to allow the Mael brothers to recouperate. Ron & Russell spent nearly 2 months beforehand to learn 5 million or so notes necessary to reproduce their entire discography live. The concerts were indeed spectacular!
Below you'll find a track-listing for ‘Exotic Creatures Of The Deep’. The brothers are really proud of the new CD and think that it rocks. Ron Mael injects rock instrumentation into still predominantly classical orchestrations, but the tunes themselves are more wide-ranging than on the last album. Melodic highlights come fast and furious. The formula is simple – to merge pure rock melody with classical stringed grandeur. It can be argued that Sparks’ sound is now as conceptual as it can possibly get. Multi-layered sounds pour out of the speakers, almost drowning you in lushness.
~~~ Tracks ~~~
02. Good Morning
03. Strange Animal
04. All The Crap In This Song
05. Let The Monkey Drive
06. Intro Reprise
07. I've Never Been High
08. She Got Me Pregnant
09. Lighten Up, Morrissey
10. This Is The Renaissance
11. The Director Never Yelled Cut
'Exotic Creatures Of The Deep' sees Ron Mael's tried and trusted methodology of multi-layered recording producing a lush and operatic ambience. The mood is mostly infectiously upbeat, if not a trifle irritating in places, but the appeal of the record is in its deep and detailed, meticulous production. It is operatic rock with a sense of humor.
Ron & Russ didn’t want to run the risk of ‘Exotic Creatures Of The Deep’ being ignored by the music press and only a small number of people hearing it, hence the decision to launch the ‘Sparks Spectacular’ marathon beforehand.
The CD's winning stylistic experimentation is sure to make it a milestone in Sparks, history. Twenty-one albums in, Sparks are still futurists, approaching the 21st century from the perspective of their day, rather than from the generation prior. Yet ‘Exotic Creatures Of The Deep’ sits as happily in the present as it will with those that first picked up on the band after their initial attack on the charts in 1974.
A first single from the album, ‘Good Morning’, was released shortly after the album, closely followed by a 7 inch single, 'Lighten Up Morrissey', on coloured vinyl.
Sparks : Exotic Creatures Of The Deep (INDEX)