Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman



Just when you think everything that is new in music is boring as water that is left on your bedside, comes the new album by Sparks. And even using the word ‘album’ is not really a fair description because the new work by Ron and Russell Mael is actually a radio play or more like a radio musical.

No, not even a rock concept album. This is a real radio show in the tradition of Orson Welles Mercury Theater – except that Welles had nothing to do with it. Ron and Russell directed, wrote and even play some of the characters. And actually the project has a series of Swedish actors. So even in the rock standard of weird releases, this one is the ultimate.
But then again in the world where a lot of bands like to talk to the press about how difficult it was for them to do their hit album live from beginning to end – Sparks did that with their 21 albums in 21 nights. So this is a band that shoots high and somehow can jump up to the disk and grab it from the sky.

The new Sparks’ project “The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman” is about the great Swedish director being sucked into the world of Hollywood. But he’s not going to take that – and the story turns into a hyper-version of the classic: Prisoner: TV show. Where the great film master is trying to escape from the clutches of the very nice bland world of Hollywood.
Fans of not only Sparks, but also hardcore fans of “Cahiers du cinema” can raise their hands in praise where the mediocre tries to destroy the creative. And although it takes place in the 50’s, one can only wonder how Sparks feel when they compare classic cinema with the contemporary crap music of the 21st Century. So with that in thought, the music that is produced by these guys is a combination of course Sparks – but actually the music is very non-rock n’ roll. It’s truly classic musical format via the Mael brother’s sensibility.

Not only is this the best album of the year, but the best album of the 21st Century so far.

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