Penny Sparkle - Blonde Redhead
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 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. 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.
  2. Though lacking standout tracks, this is an icy masterclass in how synths should sound.
  3. Penny Sparkle is a welcome addition to the group's carefully curated discography. Longtime fans should be challenged to hear the band's growth, while new listeners are implored to seek out past works for comparison.
  4. 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.
  5. Wherever your verdict on Penny Sparkle falls, the album goes to show that even a band with such a strong, distinctive identity can still be a work-in-progress that keeps on striving for bigger, better things, even if they're not there.
  6. Penny Sparkle has strong bookends. [Fall 2010, p. 66]
  7. Even given the band's fondness for equine metaphors, that's pretty obtuse – but somehow it does say something about Penny Sparkle's failure to satisfy.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Nov 29, 2010
    criminally 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
    underwhelming 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
    I 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