Album Review: Penny Sparkle


I have a tendency to listen to albums backwards, not in the hopes I’d find some hidden satanic message but because I’m just too lazy to organize my ever-growing digital library of records, so whatever is first is usually the last thing I added. This usually doesn’t make a big difference when I listen to new albums but Blonde Redhead’s latest full-length release has convinced me to change my ways…for now at least.


Blonde Redhead
Penny Sparkle
Label: 4AD/Remote Control
Release Date: October 1

If “Spain” was the opening track on Penny Sparkle, I would be incredibly pessimistic about this release. Despite the beauty of the track, I wanted something different from the Brooklyn trio this time round. With my library of tracks organized the right way, pressing play on the opener “Here Sometimes” has the tactility of pushing the button on a tape deck or the gentle release of the stylus on the turntable – it felt good and it sounded even better. Kazu Makino’s voice finds it’s place once more in “Not Getting There” before highlighting the efforts of twin brothers, Simone and Amedeo Pace in “Will There Be Stars” proving the Blonde Redhead dynamic is back to it’s surprising best. I must confess, picking standouts in Penny Sparkle proved to be a difficult task with each song standing out on their individual merits but between you and me, “My Plants Are Dead”, “Everything Is Wrong” and “Love Or Poison” will be the tracks on heavy rotation in my library.

Penny Sparkle is the essence of Blonde Redhead but in a new form. It’s ten tracks of ethereal, sensual and effortlessly composed beauty.

[MP3] Blonde Redhead – Not Getting There

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