The Handsome Family: Honey Moon (UN SPK)

 |   |  1 min read

The Handsome Family: A Thousand Diamond Rings
The Handsome Family: Honey Moon (UN SPK)

Because we're more used to hearing this husband and wife duo of Brett and Rennie Sparks in a dourly poetic and dark mood, this album's prevailing sentiments of optimism (as epitomised by its recurrent images from Nature and the themes of love) comes as something of surprise.

There is still that melancholy oldtime music sensibility with banjo, lap steel, violin and so on but -- as with Bonnie Prince Billy's The Letting Go and Lie Down in the Light -- the world seems a brighter place. And although (as always) mundane images of world of today (cars, plastic bags, paper cups rolling down the windy street) impose themselves, there is also the chipper feel of the ballads here delivered as if they were standing around the front parlour piano of an evening and exchanging musical pleasantries.

In some places, The Loneliness of Magnets notably, this almost borders on parody and you'd be forgiven for thinking they were having you on. But it seems the pair are celebrating 20 years of marriage so maybe they've decided this dirty world ain't so bad after all.

It is customarily quirky in the lyric department, but some songs like June Bugs ("I want to kiss you in thickets and dripping wet glades") and the lovely A Thousand Diamond Rings (celebrating the bright beauty of the ordinary) there is a directness which is quite sweet.

Not a patch on their earlier Last Days of Wonder, but "interesting" -- and maybe like those recent Bonnie Prince Billy albums, this may attract more attention than the glummer-than-thou mood of previous albums. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

The Last Shadow Puppets: The Age of Understatement (Domino)

The Last Shadow Puppets: The Age of Understatement (Domino)

References in UK reviews to Scott Walker with regard to this album tweaked my interest -- more so when you look at who is behind it: Alex Turner from Actic Monkeys and Miles Kane of the UK... > Read more

The Moody Blues: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 (Shock)

The Moody Blues: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 (Shock)

For someone who was never a big fan, I seem to have an unnatural amount of Moody Blues on my shelves: their first six albums from '65 to '70, and the '94 four-disc box set Time Traveller (which... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

JACQUES LOUSSIER AT 75: Bach and all that jazz

JACQUES LOUSSIER AT 75: Bach and all that jazz

Jacques Loussier, who popularised jazz back when television was broadcast in black and white, says his career came about by accident. Half a century on from his first album and four... > Read more

KRAFTWERK'S RALF HUTTER INTERVIEWED (2008): The werk ethic

KRAFTWERK'S RALF HUTTER INTERVIEWED (2008): The werk ethic

Ralf Hutter -- founder of the innovative German electro rock pioneers Kraftwerk rarely does interviews. And when he does speak to the press he sometimes doesn’t make it easy. One reporter... > Read more