However I guess from my point of view the conventional narrative of Sparks that I get from reading from fans, other reviewers in the WRC, watching from documentary or even reading from books about Sparks generally goes like this.
Sparks in the 70's were a great band producing series of innovative album especially Kimono My House and No. 1 In Heaven (and if we go with the WRC the self titled debut as well. Seems like that albums is generally ignored outside the WRC). However they lost their way in the 80's were at best they produced some decent albums and at worst some horrible albums. However they return to some form in the 90's before shocking the world with Lil' Beethoven that is either consider just as good as their best work in the 70's or even better and is considered their magnum opus and their entire career culminating to that album (Sparks themselves take the view that Lil' Beethoven is their best work). then it's just a manner of personal preference whether Lil' Beethoven is as good as Kimono My House or not but generally they are viewed in the same level.
Now of course there are fans who can only get the 70's work and then there are fans who can only get the 00's work but the overarching fan who likes both eras generally consider both era to be at least great (not just excellent which is what hex C is)
Now seeing John Mc raving positive remarks on Mark Prindle page and although he express reservation for the two songs he mention, it seems like the positive was enough for it to be a hex D (after all Equator didn't stop Kimono being a Hex D and Biology No. 2 didn't stop the debut from being a hex D as well and John Mc seems to prefer those two songs over them), it seems like his reviews was following that conventional Sparks narrative until that Hex C pops up. Ok maybe Hex C means that it follows that narrative as well as it's only a one rating different to a Hex D and I guess people may argue logically that it's at best only a minor deviation from the conventional narrative. However the emotional fanboy in me just screams out this is a masterpiece how can John Mc not see the genius in this album'. Damn that heathen
: "It's shocking in a general principle how
: any Sparks fan could rate it less than a Hex
: D or how Lil' beetHoven"
: Is it? It's a big departure from anything
: they've done before. I'd even argue it's the
: biggest change of their career--at least
: Russel still sang on No 1 In Heaven. That's
: not to say that it's inherently bad because
: it's different. All I'm saying is that it
: "is" different enough that fans of
: 70s, 80s or, heaven forbid, 90s Sparks
: aren't necessarily predisposed to like it.
: --Previous Message--
: I guess you could read his comment on Mark
: Prindle's page and interpret a Hex C
: especially when a 9/10 (that John Mc gave in
: his comment) in the Prindle conversion scale
: the minimum score out of that number is a
: Hex C.
: Yes I know that C is a low tier great album.
: However if this isn't a high tier great
: album than nothing is.
: It's shocking in a general principle how any
: Sparks fan could rate it less than a Hex D
: or how Lil' beetHoven didn't make the Top
: 300 Music Babble list.
: Or that it's shocking how Sparks is a 3 star
: band and not a 4 or a 5 instead of the band
: that shall not be named. Sure I only thought
: they were a 3 star band when John Mc started
: his reviews as well but now I know better.
: Regarding Lil' Beethoven. Every song here
: rule and there is no weak track (IMO there
: is no weak Sparks album track in the 00's
: until the Ingmar Bergman project came
: along). I Married Myself is quoting Mark
: prindle "ass-####ingly gorgeous"
: ballad. Great vocal melodies underpinnnign
: the song, I love the "doo doo doo"
: section where the backing vocals sings
: "it's going to last". I'm not too
: sure the "Falling in Love With Myself
: Again" comparison is really that fair.
: While I guess the themes are similar in that
: it depicts a relationship with yourself I
: feel the emotion behind it's different. The
: Falling In love with myself seems a more of
: a stab and satire of narcissism. However
: reading the book Talent Is An Asset and
: hearing about how Mael brothers talk about
: marriage and how both of them adamantly
: rejects married life. To me it seems like a
: paean to bachelor life
: From the book
: "“Much has been made over the years of
: the fact that the Mael brothers have never
: wed; there have been relationships that
: simply got in the way of their principal
: concern — making music. “Neither of us is
: married — we’re too busy having a good
: time,” Russell said in BAM Magazine in 1983.
: “On the surface, maybe we look less ‘rock
: ‘n’ roll’ than the average group, but on the
: other hand we’re more ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ than
: those pictures of Led Zeppelin on the farm
: with their wives and kids, Rock ‘n’ roll
: lifestyles mean you have a wife and then
: cheat on her, so rather than do that, we’re
: honest and stay unmarried. I don’t know
: anybody in any other band who’s as un-tied
: down as the two of us. We dislike homey
: things — for ourselves anyway.”
: “We have friends who have families,” Ron
: told The Word magazine in February 2006. “I
: get it vicariously; having a traditional
: family would be a real restriction on what
: we do.”
: Reading all of that, the song really seems
: to me about finding happiness in being tied
: down only to yourself especially when the
: atmosphere of this song is played in a
: romantic ballad associated with romantic
: bliss. Sort of you can get the contentment
: without marriage.
: Your Call's Very Important to Us. Please
: is a hilarious over-dramatic song where it
: seems like the person being on hold is a
: life and death tragedy. i love the bombastic
: strings that gave this a deliberately
: inappropriate serious tone, the descending
: piano line, the ooh backing vocal
: --Previous Message--
: A C isn't incongruent with anything he's
: before. He said "sonic"
: masterpiece. Not "songwriting"
: masterpiece. A C is a low-tier masterpiece
: in my books. Personally I think he was
: pretty on point with the review except for a
: couple tracks I liked more than him and vice
: versa ("I Married Myself" is a
: fave of mine, "Ride 'Em Cowboy"
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