Sparks - CD - Rating: 9/10

After Exotic Creatures Sparks kinda disappeared into collaborations, Swedish operas, and Hollywood musicals. Six or seven years later they finally returned in proper form with Hippopotamus. This release continues more along the same lines as the aforementioned Exotic Creatures with a large sampling of quirky pop-rock songs. Sonic experimentation would be reserved for their soon-to-come musical, Annette, with mixed results. Overall, I think this record is much, much more hit than miss (Sparks always have the potential for catastrophic failure). “Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me),” “Scandinavian Design,” and “I Wish You Were Fun” are each great tracks and there about a half-dozen more that are almost as good. My pre-order copy included a one-sided 7″ of the title track. What’s more punk rock than a one-sided 45?

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