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'My Name Is Sparkle'   

-  Label: 'Regional Records'
-  Genre: 'Folk' -  Release Date: '27th November 2020'

Our Rating:
Thee Holy Brothers are Canadian singer-songwriter Marvin Etzioni (aka “Buddy Holy”) and singer/multi-instrumentalist Willie Aron (aka “Johnny B. Holy”). Etzioni was co-founder of 'Lone Justice', while Aron was a founding member of folk-rockers 'The Balancing Act'.

The duo's debut is a album about a man named Sparkle who is looking for God ("I wanna know where I come from") and it is described as "an ambitious experiment integrating the secular and spiritual."

Many songs, like Elvis in Jerusalem and Woman Need Man, Man Need Woman, seem as if they were written for a family orientated stage show. Others address more serious topics and the right balance between pithiness and profundity is never satisfactorily established.

For instance, after lighter tunes, we are asked to imagine the protagonist contemplating deep questions about being and nothingness. At one point (documented in A Sudden Gunshot) the weight of the world seems too much and he contemplates suicide.

There is no tragic ending, however. Although, in Keep Crushing Me, Sparkle doubts God's very existence, this is a record about a crisis of faith rather than a denunciation of religious belief. In other words, he lives to shine another day.

The conclusion is that The End Of Suffering lies in your heart rather than in the great beyond and the upbeat Let The Great World Spin takes the pragmatic view that we should let the mystery be and enjoy life while we are here.

The arrangements are simple, just occasional horns to add some variation, so the record depends heavily on the strength of the song writing. Unfortunately, there are few memorable melodies and the lyrics are no match for the ambitious scale of the album's concept.

Thee Holy Brothers' website
  author: Martin Raybould

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