Home Read Albums Of The Week: Sparks | The Girl Is Crying In Her...

Albums Of The Week: Sparks | The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte marks Sparks’ first release on the venerable Island Records label in close to five decades, following such classics as 1974’s landmark Kimono My House, highlighted of course by the indelible hit single This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us. The new album is described by Ron and Russell Mael as a record that is “as bold and uncompromising as anything we did back then or, for that matter, anytime throughout our career.”

The album includes such instantly intriguing new musical vignettes as Mona Lisa’s Packing, Leaving Late Tonight and Nothing Is As Good As They Say It Is, songs which once again display Sparks’ seemingly ceaseless ability to craft complete, intricately detailed stories within perfect three-and-a-half minute pop masterpieces. The song Veronica Lake offers a musical account of the American film actress:

“And they all do want to be Veronica Lake
But that peek-a-boo-y hair, it’s a big mistake
As the foreman has to yell, ‘put on the brake’
Yet another girl caught, Veronica Lake.”

The first single and title cut was illustrated by a typically eccentric and unique video featuring acclaimed actress Cate Blanchett. The brothers explain how it came to be: “We met Cate Blanchett in Paris at the César Awards last year, little knowing that a year later, one of the great actors of our time (and a splendid person!) would graciously consent to lending her bootie-shaking skills to the first video from our new album, The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte. Dreams really do come true. We will sleep well tonight knowing that forever we can say we co-starred in a film with Cate Blanchett!”

Levels of interest in the work of Sparks are at heights unsurpassed in their more than 50-year career, with the ultimate cult band now centerstage in the full beam of the spotlight.

Most people, with even a passing acquaintance with Sparks, will know the basics by now. How Californian brothers Mael, both students at UCLA, began making music together in the late ’60s, originally under the name Halfnelson. How their Top Of The Pops debut with This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us stunned a generation and nearly scored them a UK No. 1. How their career moved through many phases, including (but not limited to) art rock, glam, big band swing, electro-disco, new wave and synthpop, taking in collaborations with Todd Rundgren, Les Rita Mitsouko, Tony Visconti, Franz Ferdinand and Giorgio Moroder.

How keyboardist and songwriter Ron’s intricate staccato arrangements combine with the acrobatic vocals in which Russell delivers his brother’s always-on-point lyrics. How Ron’s stillness and stern, intimidating visage contrasts onstage with Russell’s hyperactivity. How their popularity has spiked unpredictably in different territories at different times: Britain, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Japan, and their homeland the United States. And how the influence of “the greatest band you’ve never heard of,” or “your favorite band’s favorite band,” has been recognized by successive generations of artists from Joy Division to Duran Duran to Depeche Mode to Björk to Beck and beyond. Their influence on music cannot be overstated.

Now into their sixth decade of making music, Sparks have never been more relevant, with studio albums Hippopotamus (2017) and A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip (2020) both reaching No. 7 on the U.K. chart amidst global acclaim. Released in 2021, the lauded career-spanning documentary The Sparks Brothers, directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The Dead, Baby Driver), brought an awareness of Sparks to parts they previously hadn’t reached.

Both characteristically timeless and unequivocally modern, The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte once again affirms that, after more than a half century making such masterpieces, Sparks remain inimitable, ingenious and, as ever, utterly one of a kind.”


Previous articleBrooklyn Blackmore | Been There Too: Exclusive Premiere
Next articleAlbums Of The Week: The Dirty Nil | Free Rein To Passions