Tommy Sparks - Tommy Sparks

Tommy Sparks - Tommy Sparks
Album: Tommy Sparks
Duration: 42:04
Release Date: August 11, 2009
Artist: Tommy Sparks
Genre: Pop\Rock
Styles: Alternative Dance, Alternative/Indie Rock, Dance-Pop

Previously the frontman of indie punk also-rans Vatican DC and co-writer of the Prodigy's frenetic bonus album track "Wild West," Swedish singer/songwriter Tommy Sparks' self-titled debut album eschews the anarchic nature of his previous output for the kind of streamlined '80s-influenced pop sound favored by fellow countrymen Alphabeat, Robyn, and Annie. Indeed, apart from the brief but instantly memorable two minutes of "I'm a Rope," an urgent blend of Klaxons-esque nu-rave and spiky Kaiser Chiefs-inspired Brit rock, its 12 tracks offer very little evidence of his former Pixies-inspired, grunge-loving, Bloc Party-supporting past, even with the presence of Arctic Monkeys and Foals producer Mike Crossey on board. His D.I.Y.

ethics are still firmly intact (Sparks plays every instrument on the album, recorded in a studio next to his mother's house just outside Stockholm), but they're accompanied by a number of hook-laden, fun-packed, and highly addictive tunes which create the feel of an early Now That's What I Call Music compilation. The driving grooves, funky guitar licks, and Sparks' jerky vocals on opening track "Much Too Much" recall the quirky art rock of Talking Heads; the unsettling "Velo Arktis" combines the menacing synths of Gary Numan and the corny singalong melodies of Eurovision winners Bucks Fizz with bizarrely engaging results, while the clubby "Weekend's Over" fuses Two-Tone ska riffs with lolloping New Order-style basslines and an inspired use of the vocoder. Elsewhere there are flashes of the Cocteau Twins ( "Health Club" ), Prefab Sprout ( "Miracle" ) and the Psychedelic Furs ("Brand New Love"), but Sparks provides enough invention of his own to avoid being labeled just a clever '80s tribute act. Signature tune "She Got Me Dancing," recently used on an iPod advert, is perhaps one of the most joyous and immediate singles of the last few years, thanks to its playful, squeaky synth intro, infectious handclaps, and tight disco riffs, while his collaboration with house producers Filthy Dukes on the album's finale "Messages" is a floor-filling exercise in kaleidoscopic electro. On paper, Tommy Sparks could have been just another indie rocker jumping on the electro-pop bandwagon, but his genuine fondness and unashamed enthusiasm for all things '80s shine through on one of the more cohesive and consistent recent retro offerings.

Title/ComposerPerformerTime
Much Too Much / Tommy SparksTommy Sparks3:24
She's Got Me Dancing / Tommy SparksTommy Sparks3:29
These Things Happen / Tommy SparksTommy Sparks3:31
Miracle / Tommy SparksTommy Sparks3:09
Brand New Love / Tommy SparksTommy Sparks3:33
I'm a Rope / Tommy SparksTommy Sparks2:19
Kill the Summer / Tommy SparksTommy Sparks4:04
Velo Arktis / Tommy SparksTommy Sparks3:31
Hammer / Mark Ralph / Tommy SparksTommy Sparks4:33
Health Club / Tommy SparksTommy Sparks3:51
Weekends Over / Tommy Sparks / Pär WikstenTommy Sparks3:21
Messages / Olly Dixon / Tim Lawton / Mark Ralph / Tommy SparksTommy Sparks feat: Filthy Dukes3:19

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