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INTERIOR DESIGN

Sparks

Crossover Prog


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Sparks Interior Design album cover
1.13 | 4 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1988

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. So Important (4:32)
2. Just Got Back From Heaven (4:09)
3. Lots Of Reasons (3:46)
4. You Got A Hold Of My Heart (4:57)
5. Love-O-Rama (4:44)
6. The Toughest Girl In Town (4:15)
7. Let´s Make Love (4:44)
8. Stop Me If You´ve Heard This Before (3:41)
9. A Walk Down Memory Lane (4:53)
10. Madonna (4:38)
11. Madonna (french version) (4:38)
12. Madonna (german version) 4:38)
13. Madonna (spanish version) (4:38)
14. Big Brass Ring (2:19)
15. So Important (extremely important remix) (7:02)

Total Time 67:27

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Russell Mael / vocals
- Ron Mael / keyboards

Thanks to matte for the addition
and to Rune2000 for the last updates
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SPARKS Interior Design ratings distribution


1.13
(4 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(0%)
0%
Good, but non-essential (25%)
25%
Collectors/fans only (25%)
25%
Poor. Only for completionists (50%)
50%

SPARKS Interior Design reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars Simply put, the 80s annihilated Sparks. After Ron and Russell's backing band abandoned them after Music That You Can Dance To, they picked up a new guitarist and a couple of assorted other people, and proceeded to self-produce the blandest and most faceless album of their career. There are some brief glimpses of the Mael lyrical wit of old, but they're only glimpses, and much of the music sounds like it could have come from one of a thousand different synth pop bands at the time. After this album, the band ended up taking a break for six years, and it desperately needed that time off.

There are some songs that stand out from the morass of hopelessly tacky keyboards and general 80s sludge. "The Toughest Girl in Town" and "Let's Make Love" have horrendous arrangements, of course, but I somehow find them kinda touching, and I quite like the silly way Russell makes use of his falsetto when singing "I feel it in my HEART! I feel it in my SOUL!" in the latter. At the same time, I can't make much of a reasonable justification for liking these tracks more than finding them pleasant in comparison to what's all around them. Let's hear it for lowered expectations!

Another song that stands out, though hardly in a way that allows me to call it "good" by any stretch, is the closing "Madonna," which is also done in three other languages in the bonus tracks. Ok, yes, I kinda like the simple-but-stupid chorus that pops up from time to time, but I just have a difficult time understanding why this track has to exist. I guess it's kind of a successor to "Change," in that it mostly features Russell talking over a series of repetitive keyboard meanderings, but "Change" had more interesting lyrics, more varied background and a better chorus. The story Russell tells, of having a one-night-stand with somebody he's pretty sure is Madonna, leaves me feeling more confused than anything else. Is this supposed to be some kind of rip by Ron on somebody who probably had no idea Ron even existed? Is it a fantasy? A satire? Meh.

The rest of the album is gross. I guess I feel a slight admiration for the construction of the various pieces of the opening "So Important," but even that one has such terrible arrangements that I can't imagine ever wanting to seek it out. The rest is full of overdone fake big drama in the keyboards crossed with faux-tough stretches (like in "Love-O-Rama"), and the thought of listening to this album one more time just makes me ill. There's also a two-minute instrumental in the bonus tracks called "The Big Brass Ring," but it's just a bunch of keyboard wanks piled on top of each other over booming drums, and it's no better than the typical material of the rest of the album. I'll probably turn back to the couple of good tracks from time to time, but I'll be glad to be rid of this album for good. Don't buy this before you've bought any other Sparks albums.

PS: For some reason, this received a reissue in 2001 under the name Just Got Back from Heaven. Don't buy that thinking you've uncovered some collection of rarities or anything like that.

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Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014

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