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Artist: Sparks
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Lil Beethoven: Definitive Edition (bonus Trac (Bonus Tracks) CD 1 of 1

Learn more about Lil Beethoven: Definitive Edition (bonus Trac (Bonus Tracks):

Format: CD
Sku: 63954904
UPC: 037300201429
UPC 14: 05037300201429
Release Date: 1/1/2005
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Song Listing

Disc 1
Song Title
1. Rhythm Thief, The
2. How Do I Get to Carnegie Hall
3. What Are All These Bands So Angry About?
4. I Married Myself
5. Ride 'Em Cowboy
6. My Baby's Taking Me Home
7. Your Call's Very Important to Us. Please Hold.
8. Ugly Guys with Beautiful Girls
9. Suburban Homeboy
10. Legend of Lil' Beethoven, The
11. Wnderbar
12. Rhythm Thief, The
13. Rhythm Thief, The
14. Fear of a Blank Page
15. Lil' Beethoven Screensaver

Album Notes and Credits

Notes & Personnel Info
Muze PNote Sparks: Russel Mael (vocals, programming); Ron Mael (keyboards, programming); Tammy Glover (drums).
Muze PNote Additional personnel: Dean Menta (guitar).
Muze PNote Recorded at Sparks Studios, Los Angeles, California.
Muze PNote The brainchild of keyboardist/composer Ron Mael, tis melange of classical, techno, and rock will appeal to fans of -- you guessed it -- classical, techno, and rock. Features three bonus mixes of both the title cut and the charming "Rhythm Thief."
Muze PNote Personnel: Russell Mael (vocals, programming); Dean Menta (guitar); Ron Mael (keyboards, programming); Tammy Glover (drums).
Muze PNote Audio Mixers: John Thomas ; Cristiano Avigni.
Muze PNote Recording information: Sparks Studio, Los Angeles, CA.
Muze PNote Photographer: Aaron Rapoport.
Muze PNote Arrangers: Ron Mael; Russell Mael.
Muze PNote Anybody looking for Sparks to return to the timeless lushness of "Under the Table With Her" or the sonic indiscretions of "Change," the disconcerting dynamics of "Equator," or the pulsing repetition of Number One Song in Heaven is going to recognize Lil' Beethoven almost immediately. But anybody holding any of those ideals so dear that they cannot see past their superficial tensions is going to be left in disarray. Lil' Beethoven is the (or, more appropriately, a) summation of everything Sparks had been promising for the past 30 years. It is also quite unlike anything they have ever delivered before. The classical pretensions of the title are mirrored exactly in the music. Strings, acoustics, piano, and chorales are the album's primary assets, layered on with such guile that their essential simplicity is absolutely disguised. Lyrically, Lil' Beethoven is sharper than Sparks have sounded in a while -- at least since the best bits of Gratuitous Sax, with the closing "Suburban Homeboy" a brilliant summary of every rich kid booming rap from their mother's SUV ("I say 'yo! Dog' to my detailing guy"). One song, though, is constructed almost wholly around a joke that is older than dirt ("How Do I Get to Carnegie Hall?" -- "practice, man, practice"); another takes the bulk of its lyric from a stubborn voice-mail system ("Your Call Is Very Important to Us -- Please Hold"). But, while the repetition itself can grow...well, repetitive, on an album that stakes out its parameters by introducing "The Rhythm Thief" ("oh no, where did the groove go?"), then letting him steal every beat off the record, the mantras themselves become a pulse of sorts, around which the orchestrations take the wildest flights. There are breaks. The exquisite "I Married Myself" is as lush a loving ballad as Sparks have ever wrapped their more Beatlesque aspirations around, and that despite the entire song stretching out over the kind of prelude that other people might have reserved for a pretty prelude alone. Later, "Ugly Guys With Beautiful Girls" is less a lyric, more a son-of-"Change"-style diatribe, but the greatest shock comes when you realize just how easily conditioned you were by the rest of the album. Thumping beat and wired guitar leap out with such resolute energy that it feels like you're listening to another record entirely -- every time you play it. And that is the magic of Lil' Beethoven. It takes a few plays to understand and a few more to appreciate. But how many times can you listen to it through and still be discovering new things to admire? That's a question that time alone can answer. ~ Dave Thompson

Producer: Ron Mael; Russell Mael

Engineer: John Thomas; Cristiano Avigni

Compilation Appearances

Muze Music Compilations Reason (Explicit Version)
Muze Music Compilations Blueprint 2: The Gift And The Curse (Explicit Version)
Muze Music Compilations Philadelphia Freeway (Explicit Version)

Associated Artists and Works

Gemma Ray

Technical Info

Music Release Date Release Date : 2002
Music Original Release Date Original Release Date : 2002
Music CatalogId Catalog ID : LBRCD 101
Music Label Name Label : Universal International
Music Number of Discs Number of Discs : 1
Music Studio or Live Studio/Live : Studio
Music Mono or Stereo Mono/Stereo : Stereo
Music SPAR code SPAR Code : n/a
Music UPC UPC : 50373002014296

Professional Reviews

CMJ (07/07/03, p.6)
- "...The pair have replaced their electro-pop pump 'n' thump with classical piano, lush layers of poperatic vocals, Philip Glass-ian repeating throb and pounding tympanies. It's Falco's Amadeus coming back to finally rock us..."

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