You know how it is, you wait for a Sparks- related project, and two come along at once. It’s definitely the Mael brothers’ year, what with Edgar Wright’s critically acclaimed documentary on the legendary duo, The Sparks Brothers, and now this magnificent soundtrack being released.
Accompanying Leos Carax’ typically idiosyncratic film, a musical where Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard play lovers torn apart by the birth of their marionette baby (bien sur!) Annette is all you could hope for. Driver and Cotillard complement each other gorgeously on We Love Each Other So Much , a sweeping but ominous duet, and So May We Start is a cheeky, particularly self-reflexive Sparks number, but Catherine Trottman provides a powerhouse mezzo soprano elsewhere, adding even more intense operatic layers.
There are some welcome left turns, of course: You Used to Laugh is a bizarre, sweary choral disco strut, and the ghosts of French cinema past, notably sixties composer Michel Legrand, are lovingly homaged in Girl From the Middle of Nowhere.
Only a treacly duet with ‘baby Annette’ in Sympathy For The Abyss feels a little out of step with the soundtrack’s inventive quirks. In the main, it’s a welcome addition to the Mael brothers’ ever restless, constantly shifting ouevre.
Out August 8th via Milan Records