Goodness me what a year it has been musically. You’ll be pleased to know that I picked this all the way back in February. I have made a point of listening to a new album each and every day. Out of everything I have heard this year, one album has retained the top spot. And, as you saw from the previous post, Kimono My House had stiff competition.
Arguably one of Sparks’ best albums, 1974’s Kimono My House finds the brothers Mael (Ron wrote most the songs and played keyboards, while Russell was the singing frontman) ingeniously playing their guitar- and keyboard-heavy pop mix on 12 consistently fine tracks. Allmusic
Russell’s voice is heavenly. Indeed in Here In Heaven one can immediately hear the frightening range of his vocal chords. In an interview for the BBC, Russell joked that he sang so high because his brother composed mainly with his right hand on the piano. He went on to say if Ron’s hand were run over by a truck, you’d hear a much different Sparks sound. This album is full of great tracks. One after the other they hit you with a wonderful floury of keyboard and outrageous vocals. Thank God it’s Not Christmas once made me cry. Have a listen for yourselves:
I asked one of my closest friends, Emily, to listen to it. She described it as “anxious”. I can see where she might get this impression. The pace of the album is fast. There aren’t really any songs which slow you down. You head all the way to oblivion without stopping.
Overall, I cannot choose a track which moved me most. Each and every one has its own individual spark, as it were. This album is important. Arguably, it is Sparks’ best. Their first album, produced by Todd Rundgren, is a close second. Fletcher Honorma is in my top 10 tracks of all time. But but but Kimono My House just knocks the ball out of the park. The innovation; splendour and cohesion of this album overall puts it above all the albums I have heard this year.
Let me know what you think. I am so looking forward to another year of marvellous music.