Boomkat Product Review:
Penny Sparkle is the third Blonde Redhead album to be released by 4AD, following on from Misery Is A Butterfly and 23. The veteran New York trio sound quite fantastic here too, launching straight into recent single 'Here Sometimes', whose appeal seems to heighten with every listen. Immediately the band establish a more iced-over electronic sound - something that accommodates Kazu Mazino's voice beautifully and helps inform a kind of reboot of the classic 4AD dream-pop template on the magical 'My Plants Are Dead'. If a new band had come up with this stuff, the internet would be ablaze with declarations of their zeitgeist-distilling greatness. 'Not Getting There' is another fabulous slice of grown-up pop, featuring more ghostly vocals, arctic synth strings and a production that puts everything in its right place. In fact, speaking of that production, on Penny Sparkle the band's sound owes something to the contributions of various high-profile (well, in the recording community at least) backroom nerds: off the heels of their work with Fever Ray and Glasser, Swedish production duo Van Rivers and The Subliminal Kid are on board, with additional production supplied in NYC by Drew Brown (whose prior credits include work with Radiohead, Beck and Charlotte Gainsbourg) while Alan Moulder (Depeche Mode, My Bloody Valentine) mixes the record. An inspired stylistic detour from this consistently excellent band, Penny Sparkle should by rights capture the attentions of a whole new generation of listeners, and comes highly recommended both to newcomers and fans who've been following Blonde Redhead since their nineties origins.