My favorite crazy brothers are back with their first solo album in eight years. After a wonderful collaboration with Franz Ferdinand (FFS), I was afraid that the Mael Brothers would have forgotten how wonderful they are just the two of them. Thank goodness, no: “Hippopotamus” is completely filled with the offbeat humor that makes Sparks the greatest irony band of all time. I mean, The Residents are great, Barnes & Barnes were fun, They Might Be Giants is intense, but nobody is as wonderfully bizarre as Sparks. Just listen to “Hippopotamus”. Lyrically, it hearkens back to the days of Indiscreet (think “Pineapple” and “Under The Table With Her”) and Kimono My House. I love Sparks, and it is wonderful, in crazy times like these, that the kings of irony still have it.