After 2008's excellent sophomore immersion in power pop, Merseybeat, Revolver Beatles, Byrds, and baroque, the got-better-every-time-it-was-played You Haven't Been Where I've Been, New York's purveyor of '60s-spangled serenity turns his attention strictly to the baroque -- in a foppish 1967 London vein. Between evoking Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist's Artful Dodger or Blighty's annual Guy Fawkes Night, Rogers betrays a dancehall Kinks, Turtles, and later Monkees predilection. (Well, after the opening "Symbols 'n Mascots" feints at new wave.) The strings-and-vocal bits are like the Hollies' Butterfly after hearing "Eleanor Rigby"; i.e., a light touch in an array of crafted styles. And Rogers still writes effortless melodies like the Left Banke and Nick Lowe, sung in a vague Brit accent like Hugh Cornwell. If not as gripping as You Haven't, Sparkle is more tasty candy.
AllMusic Review by Jack Rabid