Stockholm’s pop hopeful Tommy Sparks has created an imbalanced debut album.
Lou Thomas 2009-08-06
Stockholm’s pop hopeful Tommy Sparks has created an imbalanced debut album. From the opening duo of Much Too Much and She's Got Me Dancing, everything suggests the London-based songwriter has made a genuinely fun first record, free of any agenda or subversion, but also free of the pretension that afflicts so many of Tommy's competitors. Sadly, after MTM's David Byrne impression and the Just Jack throwaway thrill of SGMD this eponymous effort hit's a downhill slope.
These Things Happen is breezy enough and could be misheard as a 2009 version of Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star, such is its glossy 80s sheen layered on by producer Mike Crossey. Crossey himself appears to be in unusual territory considering he's also been on desk duty for credible acts like Foals and Arctic Monkeys.
Weekend's Over lacks even a streak of loveable irony, instead sounding rushed and notable chiefly for featuring the worst use of vocoder since Cher's Believe.
In amongst what follows is a smattering of Hard-Fi suburban angst negated by a sugary production (Miracle), a poor power ballad (Brand New Love) and some preening bombast that could pass as a b-side by The Darkness (Kill The Summer).
After such a tremendous opening pair of songs the sudden drop off in quality of Tommy's album is baffling. The Swede is clearly a man with an ear for a sizzling pop hook and adept at constructing songs. With luck he'll be able to overcome a mediocre first attempt at world domination and create more varied and interesting work.