Sparks

Hip­popota­mus

Mojo (UK) - - News - James McNair

BMG. CD/DL/LP An em­phatic show of Ron and Russell Mael’s late-pe­riod ge­nius.

“We have to outdo our­selves this time,” says Russell Mael in the car­toon strip ‘biog’ sent out with Hip­popota­mus. That’s ex­actly what he and big brother Ron have done here – and not least on the ar­tic­u­late daft­ness front. Un­der­pinned and beau­ti­fully off­set by Ron’s off­beat pop-clas­si­cal ar­range­ments, the lyri­cal con­ceits and come hither ti­tles of songs such as What The Hell Is It This Time? and I Wish You Were Fun (in the lat­ter, the found-want­ing part­ner’s fave colour is brown) don’t dis­ap­point. With the pre­pos­ter­ous ti­tle track rais­ing the bar for rhyme-scheme dar­ing verse by verse, Mis­sion­ary Po­si­tion hymn­ing the sex­u­ally un­ad­ven­tur­ous, and Prob­a­bly Noth­ing squeez­ing poignancy from the act of for­get­ting some­thing triv­ial, Hip­popota­mus is never any­thing less than wildly en­ter­tain­ing. Two hun­dred years from now, the dictionary en­try for bril­liantly ec­cen­tric pop will re­main the same: Sparks.

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