Underrated Sparks album.
Threefolddado | Long Beach, CA USA | 04/14/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yes. This is the one with the Beach Boys influenced "Over The Summer". The good news is, "Over The Summer" is one of the weaker songs. Full of lyrical word plays typical of Sparks apparent in such gems as "Big Surprise", "Goofing Off", and "Occupation", its a tongue in cheek classic. I am very pleased to see it has FINALLY been released to CD."
Jim Richmond | 06/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"That this album has been out of print and unavailable on CD until now is certainly one of "Those Mysteries" (title of last song on this album). It's certainly up to par on a Sparks-level, and is their last really good album for those who prefer 70's Sparks.
This fits perfectly with the Kimono My House - Big Beat era Sparks, with a similar style. "A Big Surprise" has a very common 70's sound, yet uniquely Sparks. "Occupation" sounds like it could have been on Kimono My House. "Ladies" sounds like it could have come from Propaganda. "I'm Not" could have come from Big Beat. "Forever Young is an uptempo fun song with a great message. "Goofing Off" has a different feel (sort of Greek minor opera or something), but is fun and uniquely Sparks. "Girls on the Brain" carries on the Big Beat `women' subject matter (i.e. I Like Girls and White Women) and is a nice bluesy rocker. "Over the Summer" is something different; kind of Beach Boys-ish, but still works well. "Those Mysteries" is a slightly quieter, more reflective song, that is perfect for the final song.
The end of a great chapter in the Sparks music catalog. If only they could have continued with these types of great songs and not stayed off into other musical styles...
My only complaint is that it doesn't sound remastered. It could have been spiffed up a bit with more treble/clarity. Still, that doesn't necessarily detract when you have great original music.
Shamelessly under-rated gem
M Elliott | 11/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I never understand why this album has always had such a bad rap.
Songs like 'Occupation' have much the same musical quality as anything on Kimono My House or Indiscreet while wistful pieces like Those Mysteries have a child's eye view rather like 'Under the table with her'.
I suspect that the original bad reputation of the album came simply from the fact that Sparks weren't feeling original by 1977. Ironically had they put it out in 2007 the world would have celebrated it as a superb return to form. Just a question of timing.
Do listen to the album rather than reading reviews. If you loved the mid 70's Sparks classics this is an essential part of your collection.