Sparky’s Magic Piano Sings Sumptuously on Never Twice the Same Colour
There are some things Sparky’s Magic Piano does perfectly well on its recently released Long Player, Never Twice the Same Colour.
One of them is sing, which simply cannot be overestimated on a collection of songs. Mind you, there’s two members in this group: Marion Bartlett and Oli Bartlett, who are husband and wife.
The young woman (who must be Marion) has the most sumptuous penchant for singing soprano. I mean, sometimes, a soprano that soars right out of the firmament, it’s so high—which is assuredly the case on “Heaven Chord”.
As good as it sounds on the majority of the project, as right as her melodies are, they only get better during those frequent moments (which could occur all the more frequently, as far as this reviewer is concerned) when Oli graces her presence from behind, in the background, with the prettiest of falsettos which, on occasion, seemingly glide even higher than those of the lead singer.
Seriously. More than a couple times during running through this album you might actually wish that he would sing lead, his vocals are so palatable. However, that’s not to take anything away from the synthesis of the sounds sonically sang by them on tunes like “Albie I Know”, which has a wondrous melody on both the verses and the hook, and the presence of mind to position both vocalists singing it.
One of the things that certainly stands out about these cuts, however, is the unique sense of rhythm that characterizes many of them. For example, “Chord” starts out as a ballad with Marion singing in time to a piano, before perky synths, bass, and the drums kick in to make it a mid-tempo affair.
The most discernible idiosyncrasy, however, appertaining to the rhythm is Oli’s knack for hitting you with a drum pattern then abruptly dropping the kicks and the rest of the percussion—all save for the snare—during the verses. It maintains the tempo some, but noticeably slows the tunes down, makes the vocals seem louder, and certainly keeps you off balance as a listener.
Such is the case on “Tiny Shiny Shoes”, “A Pair of Keys”, and a couple others, with “Keys” particularly noteworthy for its attractive singing. Such heartfelt emotions expressed through voices are well worth for waiting.