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Penny Sparkle Image
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

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6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

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  • Summary: The alternative rock trio's eighth album was produced by Van Rivers and the Subliminal Kid.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Always building and beautiful, their sparse, even minimal, approach lends Penny Sparkle a complexity that's both rich and rewarding in both its inspiration and execution.
  2. The exploration of yet another new form on Penny Sparkle shows how exquisitely Blonde Redhead can continue to add cogs to an amorphous musical wheel without tripping up.
  3. Penny Sparkle straddles the line between comfort and tension, the woozy synths bleed into one another, the music is warm and enveloping but frequent, unexpected minor chords and bass rumbles mean you can never be as comfortable as you'd wish to be.
  4. This is an album that, once consumed, lies dormant in the mind of the listener, ingrained but not at the forefront, playing in the subconscious; more demanding than background music, but short of immediacy.
  5. 60
    Cocteau Twins, MBV and Angelo Badalamenti are obvious touchstones for the narcotised, heat0haze beauty of Penny Sparkle, which might stupefy were it not for the stylishly gloomy "Love Or Prison" and the deliciously frost-bitten "Oslo." [Oct 2010, p.87]
  6. 60
    The trio are certainly equipped for the challenge, since they're already experienced purveyors of foreboding, romantic, minor-keyed dreaminess; but their dub-tinged candle-flicker sometimes trades haunting for drab.
  7. Outside of a distorted vocal on "Not Getting There" and a slowly blooming and surprisingly gripping waltz ("Everything Is Wrong"), the arrangements seem done up like hospital rooms, every sound picked for maximum sterility.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Nov 29, 2010
    8
    criminally underrated album. i too was initially disappointed by this one because "23" was such a hard act to follow, BUT "penny sparkle" is acriminally underrated album. i too was initially disappointed by this one because "23" was such a hard act to follow, BUT "penny sparkle" is a grower. yeah, it tapers off in the end, but the meat on this record is some of the dreamiest pop music being made today. if you get the chance to see these guys on their current tour the album will make a whole lot more sense. i saw them with about a dozen friends last night and we were all blown away. Expand
  2. Sep 27, 2010
    5
    underwhelming and quite disappointing given the brilliance of their last album. Synths have basically replaced guitars leading to quite an icyunderwhelming and quite disappointing given the brilliance of their last album. Synths have basically replaced guitars leading to quite an icy and distant sound. Not really any standout tracks Expand
  3. Oct 3, 2011
    4
    I guess that Blonde Redhead should have waited with release of a follow-up to their almost universally acclaimed 23 a bit longer. Despite aI guess that Blonde Redhead should have waited with release of a follow-up to their almost universally acclaimed 23 a bit longer. Despite a great start (Here Sometimes), the band fail to keep the listenerâ Expand