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Penny Sparkle

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iTunes Review

Over the years Blonde Redhead have shifted from shredded guitars to dissipated dreams. On Penny Sparkle, the trio take the electronics layering from their previous release 23 and make them the floorshow. Kazu Makino sings underneath the layers of ghostly instrumentation with an enchanting voice that seems to be transmitting over skyscrapers into the canyons of downtown. “Not Getting There” is practically a forgotten disco hit from the ‘70s. Its vocal lines are immediately recognizable but also entirely brand new. The déjà vu is everywhere. “Will There Be Stars” is a mix of Britpop, Germanic synths from Nico’s solo work, and whatever dance remains once the hangover has settled in. There’s a beautiful fragility to the work.  “My Plants Are Dead” dips further into the creep zone, with a foreboding, spy-flick ticking away time and space. “Love Or Prison” furthers the noir with a tense beat stalking the narrow corridors with deep reverbs and minimal synths. The bouncy spacewalk of the many tunes makes it as if everything is suspended in space waiting for a chance to settle down.

Customer Reviews


A few reviews here seem to suggest either that Blonde Readhead began their career with "23", or that "23" was their greatest achievement to date. Funny. Sad. This gorgeous and very complete album not only yeilds songs that are as clear in sentiment as aesthetic, Blonde Readhead seem to have accepted and then surpassed the influence of their terrific producers and cut straight to the heart of early 4AD classic recordings, giving body to the atmosphere. This band knows how to grow... forcefully, delicately.

Beautiful Mesmerizing Sound

Very calming yet intriguing melodies. Listening to the entire album takes you to a dream-like state and keeps you there with success. It was totally worth the wait. It is a beautiful evolution to their prior proposals which are beautiful as well.
I don't understand why this album is not in the front page as it is musically far superior than most of the albums promoted by itunes. It makes me sad because at this point it is impossible (for me) to rely on itunes as a device to meet new talented bands or even to keep track of the ones that I know are honestly great. I am just glad I knew about it. But thanks for releasing it here on time.


This album is bad. After 23, I had high expectations, but giving every track this far weaker, far less engaging sound was a moronic choice. You've made me sad!


Formed: 1993 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Moving from Sonic Youth-like art punk to eclectic pop over the course of their decades-long career, Blonde Redhead remained one of indie rock's most creative acts. The band formed in 1993 after Japanese art students Kazu Makino and Maki Takahashi randomly met Italian twin brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace at an Italian restaurant in New York. (The name was taken from a song by the '80s no wave band DNA.) With Makino and Amedeo on guitars and vocals, Simone on drums, and Takahashi on bass, the band's...
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