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Sparkadia – Mary

January 31, 2011 by  

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Sparkadia – Mary

NAME: Sparkadia
DATE: 16February2011

LABEL: Gold Dust


FIVE WORD REVIEW: Approachable pop despite band disintegration.

LOCATION: Sydney, Australia

LINE UP: Alex Burnett (everything).


WHAT’S THE STORY?: Quite a few bands will, it’s safe to say, fall by the wayside when just one member leaves. Two bandmates departing is usually a sure sign that things are becoming untenable. Three? That’s a disaster akin to Guns ‘n’ Roses. Sparkadia, however, could be using such a dissolution as a gateway to better things.

‘Mary’ is the band’s most recent release following circumstances that turned the four-piece Aussie act into a solo artist, albeit under the same name. To his credit, Alex Burnett isn’t going it alone due to his repugnance, Axl Rose style; the others just had bigger things to attend to, like another project or becoming a mother.

While it’s a strong offering, the first listen to ‘Mary’ provides a jarring realisation: it’ll be snapped up by a big advert and played to death. The chiming piano at the beginning is nothing short of investment bank material, while the early stages (in instrumental form) could be fantastic fodder for other financial services. Luckily, the negativity of the lyrics will still probably save it from marketing-led oblivion.

Negativity is a strong word, though, and the South American-style swing beat created by the offset piano really makes it a lot more enjoyable than the lyrics seem to offer. The melodrama of the vocals is undermined by this pace, though the emotion continues to heighten throughout the song, especially with a temporary change of pace to a more staccato arrangement about half-way in.

It doesn’t do anything new and it’s hard to predict how it’d stand up to repeated plays, but ‘Mary’ makes you tap your toes enough in the short-term. The funky slap bass-powered remix by the Royal Palms isn’t half bad, either.

SOUNDS LIKE: An orchestral nervous breakdown.

YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF: You’re going through a break-up and you feel personally aggrieved by the unfair circumstances of the split.


Submitted By Matt Gardner



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