Albums to watch

Hippopotamus

Sparks

Hippopotamus

The 25th full-length album from the Los Angeles pop / rock duo of Ron and Russell Mael

ADM rating[?]

7.7

Label
BMG Rights Management
UK Release date
08/09/2017
US Release date
08/09/2017
  1. 10.0 |   The Independent

    One treats high art as nonsense, the other treats nonsense as high art: a perfect description, perhaps, of the cultural dialectic which drives Sparks’ protean creativity
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  2. 8.9 |   Paste Magazine

    As always, Sparks shows its stylistic siblings how it’s truly done
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  3. 8.0 |   Gig Soup

    The twenty fourth album from the Mael’s and though it’s completely different to every release that’s preceded it, it doesn’t leave the crazy, mixed up Sparks world that we’ve all fallen in love with
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  4. 8.0 |   The FT

    Opening track is a droll bagatelle that affects to point to the Californian brotherly duo’s advancing years
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  5. 8.0 |   Spectrum Culture

    The Maels have built a career predicated on confounding expectations
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  6. 8.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Hippopotamus feels like the latest volume in an alternate cultural history formed of all the weird things that only Sparks are audacious enough to make songs about. It’s an admirable commitment to silliness
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  7. 8.0 |   Exclaim

    It seems unlikely that a band this far into their career would make an album as career-defining as Hippopotamus, but then, Sparks have always done things on according to their own schedule
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  8. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    For anyone yet to experience the Maels’s unique charms, their best album in decades is as good as any place to start
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  9. 8.0 |   Clash

    Pure vaudeville, pure theatre – and pure Sparks
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  10. 8.0 |   music OMH

    A big, joyous beast of an album
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  11. 8.0 |   Under The Radar

    Bursts with the signature wit and tongue-in-cheek cultural prodding that characterize Sparks' greatest work
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  12. 8.0 |   The Irish Times

    It’s as offbeat a collection as ever, but you wouldn’t have it any other way
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  13. 8.0 |   Mojo

    Hippopotamus is never anything less than wildly entertaining. Print edition only

  14. 8.0 |   Uncut

    Wide and rich enough to provide no end of delights. Print edition only

  15. 7.1 |   Pitchfork

    On the first proper Sparks album in nearly a decade, the Mael brothers let existential anxiety into their bouncy music more overtly than usual
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  16. 7.0 |   The Music

    Reverb-heavy indie-pop that sounds remarkably of a piece with their contemporary acolytes
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  17. 6.0 |   The Skinny

    The result is more tacky than glam. If you’re in it for the jokes, Hippopotamus is worth the effort
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  18. 6.0 |   Q

    Floating voters will lament the lack of a flat-out glam and/or electro-disco belter to rival their hits. Print edition only

  19. 6.0 |   God Is In The TV

    Slightly too long and uneven to rank with their best career triumphs, there are plenty of moments here to remind us why it’s still easy to get excited about a new Sparks release
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