Sparks – The Girl is Crying in Her Latte

Sparks – The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte

Sparks have been enjoying ‘another’ renaissance recently and this album has many of the hallmarks that you would expect to hear from such an accomplished and long-standing band. It’s full of great ideas, unexpected twists and turns, and of course their own trademark art-pop riffs and hooks. No note or word is wasted and everything that needs to be said in each song is delivered concisely, with relish.

Granted, it isn’t classically ‘progressive’ but even the most hardened prog disciple probably has more than a few Sparks songs that they can identify as guilty pleasures. Given that the Sparks vibe on this album is so strong, I am inspired to look at this review from a different aspect, so I’ll take a sideways step and offer you 10 reasons why listening to Sparks 2023 release The Girl is Crying in Her Latte could be a worthwhile and fulfilling, albeit occasional, antidote to Prog.

  • Ron Mael is a master observer and chronicler.
  • Russell Mael is part jester, part judge and part juror. He is the joker in the pack who suddenly decides he wants to get into your psyche and have a prod around.
  • An upbeat pop song about a North Korean soldier on parade is a perfectly normal thing.
  • Life’s disappointments really are just the launch pad for a catchy new tune. Embrace them.
  • Imagining you’re a new-born baby who is disappointed by his/her new surroundings and deciding that you’ll write a song about that.
  • Making musical ideas sound simple and spontaneous isn’t as easy as you’d imagine, Sparks have that knack.
  • When you throw fourteen darts at a target all at once, a few of them will miss the board, some will be in the red zones and some in the black. A few may even be close to, or in the bullseye. On another day the mix will be completely different, don’t be afraid to take your chances with this album more than once.
  • Sometimes great musical theatre requires a 15-minute plus epic exploration, sometimes you can tell a story that is dramatic, touching and meaningful in three minutes and three seconds.
  • Be thankful for the many vintage-years artists that are still performing at the top of their game, being inventive and ‘progressive’.
  • Don’t take yourself, or your music collection, too seriously. Make some room for a bit of fun.

01. The Girl is Crying in Her Latte (2:56)
02. Veronica Lake (3:02)
03. Nothing is As Good as They Say It Is (3:13)
04. Escalator (2:57)
05. The Mona Lisa’s Packing, Leaving Late Tonight (3:33)
06. You Were Meant For Me (4:16)
07. Not That Well-Defined (3:29)
08. We Go Dancing (3:07)
09. When You Leave (4:18)
10. Take Me For A Ride (4:07)
11. It’s Sunny Today (2:39)
12. A Love Story (3:17)
13. It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way (3:40)
14. Gee, That Was Fun (3:01)

Total Time – 47:35

Russell Mael – Vocals
Ron Mael – Keyboards, Programming, String Arrangements
Steven Nistor – Drums
Evan Weiss – Guitars
Eli Pearl – Guitars
Max Whipple – Bass
Nathan Kelly – Orchestral Arrangement (track 10)

Record Label: Island Records
Country of Origin: U.S.A.
Date of Release: 26th May 2023

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