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Sparks - A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing

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A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing

Sparks

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Woofer... starts with another killer opening track, musically and lyrically, with "Girl From Germany," a chugging number detailing the problems the narrator has with his parents over his girlfriend, given their lingering wartime attitudes. The album builds upon the strengths of the debut to create an even better experience all around. The same five-person lineup offers more sharp performances. Album engineering veteran James Lowe takes over production reins from Rundgren, with, happily, no audible sense of trying to make the album more commercial. If anything, things are even wiggier this time around, from the naughtily-titled sea chanty which turns into a full-on rocker "Beaver O'Lindy" and the strings-plus-piano "Here Comes Bob," to the album's completely wacked-out, dramatic centerpiece "Moon Over Kentucky." Melodies start approaching the hyperactivity level which would flower completely on the band's subsequent releases. Ron and Earle Mankey trade off or play against each other, while the rhythm section of Jim Mankey and Feinstein executes the kind of sharp tempo changes which would become de rigueur for thrash-metal bands of the '80s, but fit in perfectly here with the spastic pop being played. Russell soars and croons over it all like an angel on deeply disturbing drugs, wrapping his vocals around such lines as "We surely will appreciate our newfound leisure time" from "Nothing is Sacred." The long-time live favorite "Do-Re-Mi" -- indeed a cover of the number from The Sound of Music -- first appears here as well, taking Rodgers and Hammerstein to a level Julie Andrews might be hardpressed to follow. Anyone wondering why Faith No More appeared on Sparks' self-tribute album Plagiarism need only listen to Woofer to understand -- as a full-on purée of musical styles in the service of twisted viewpoints, it's a perfect album. ~ Ned Raggett

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A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing

Sparks

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1
Girl from Germany 00:03:29

Russell Mael, Writer - Ron Mael, Composer, Writer - Sparks, MainArtist - Ronald D. Mael, Writer - Thaddeus James Lowe, Producer

1973 Bearsville Records Inc., a label of Warner Records Inc. 1973 Bearsville Records Inc.

2
Beaver O'Lindy 00:03:44

Mael, Writer - Sparks, MainArtist - Feinstein, Writer - Mankey, Writer

1973 Bearsville Records Inc., a label of Warner Records Inc. 1973 Bearsville Records Inc.

3
Nothing Is Sacred 00:05:33

Mael, Writer - Sparks, MainArtist

1973 Bearsville Records Inc., a label of Warner Records Inc. 1973 Bearsville Records Inc.

4
Here Comes Bob 00:02:12

Mael, Writer - Sparks, MainArtist

1973 Bearsville Records Inc., a label of Warner Records Inc. 1973 Bearsville Reocrds

5
Moon over Kentucky 00:04:11

Mael, Writer - Sparks, MainArtist - Mankey, Writer

1973 Bearsville Records Inc., a label of Warner Records Inc. 1973 Bearsville Records Inc.

6
Do-Re-Mi 00:03:39

Hammerstein, Writer - Rogers, Writer - Sparks, MainArtist

1973 Bearsville Records Inc., a label of Warner Records Inc. 1973 Bearsville Records Inc.

7
Angus Desire 00:03:20

Mael, Writer - Sparks, MainArtist

1973 Bearsville Records Inc., a label of Warner Records Inc. 1973 Bearsville Records Inc.

8
Underground 00:02:55

Sparks, MainArtist - Mankey, Writer

1973 Bearsville Records Inc., a label of Warner Records Inc. 1973 Bearsville Records Inc.

9
The Louvre 00:04:52

Mael, Writer - Sparks, MainArtist

1973 Bearsville Records Inc., a label of Warner Records Inc. 1973 Bearsville Records Inc.

10
Batteries Not Included 00:00:44

Mael, Writer - Sparks, MainArtist

1973 Bearsville Records Inc., a label of Warner Records Inc. 1973 Bearsville Records Inc.

11
Whippings and Apologies 00:04:42

Mael, Writer - Sparks, MainArtist

1973 Bearsville Records Inc., a label of Warner Records Inc. 1973 Bearsville Records Inc.

Album Description

Woofer... starts with another killer opening track, musically and lyrically, with "Girl From Germany," a chugging number detailing the problems the narrator has with his parents over his girlfriend, given their lingering wartime attitudes. The album builds upon the strengths of the debut to create an even better experience all around. The same five-person lineup offers more sharp performances. Album engineering veteran James Lowe takes over production reins from Rundgren, with, happily, no audible sense of trying to make the album more commercial. If anything, things are even wiggier this time around, from the naughtily-titled sea chanty which turns into a full-on rocker "Beaver O'Lindy" and the strings-plus-piano "Here Comes Bob," to the album's completely wacked-out, dramatic centerpiece "Moon Over Kentucky." Melodies start approaching the hyperactivity level which would flower completely on the band's subsequent releases. Ron and Earle Mankey trade off or play against each other, while the rhythm section of Jim Mankey and Feinstein executes the kind of sharp tempo changes which would become de rigueur for thrash-metal bands of the '80s, but fit in perfectly here with the spastic pop being played. Russell soars and croons over it all like an angel on deeply disturbing drugs, wrapping his vocals around such lines as "We surely will appreciate our newfound leisure time" from "Nothing is Sacred." The long-time live favorite "Do-Re-Mi" -- indeed a cover of the number from The Sound of Music -- first appears here as well, taking Rodgers and Hammerstein to a level Julie Andrews might be hardpressed to follow. Anyone wondering why Faith No More appeared on Sparks' self-tribute album Plagiarism need only listen to Woofer to understand -- as a full-on purée of musical styles in the service of twisted viewpoints, it's a perfect album. ~ Ned Raggett

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