Eccentric sibling duo Sparks has always dared to be different, and its off-kilter charms are on full display on its new album, "Hello Young Lovers." The set was released last month in the United Kingd

Eccentric sibling duo Sparks has always dared to be different, and its off-kilter charms are on full display on its new album, "Hello Young Lovers." The set was released last month in the United Kingdom and arrives this week via In The Red.

Although Sparks has enjoyed its biggest success in the United Kingdom (to where the U.S.-born Mael brothers once relocated), "Hello Young Lovers" took shape in the siblings' native Los Angeles. "We wanted to preserve the spirit of non-convention that we hinted at with [2002's] 'Lil' Beethoven,' but take things miles further," Ron Mael says. "Again, we wanted to steer clear of the pop conventions that for us now sound archaic. We explored other ways to structure songs that aren't simply verse/chorus/bridge. We also explored ways to not always work in standard pop music instrumentation."

"Yet for all the eccentricity, we still feel the album is very much centered in the spirit of pop music," he continues, "at least the way we think pop music should sound. 'Dick Around' and 'When I Sit Down To Play the Organ at the Notre Dame Cathedral' are both longer pieces that don't bear much relationship to the current climate in pop music. And even a song that is at once very accessible, 'Waterproof,' still plays with the accepted structures of pop music."

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