Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Album Review: Spoon- They Want My Soul

They Want My Soul
****and1/2 out of *****

The pop tinkers from Austin TX are back again with their 8th studio release They Want My Soul, which sounds like a quintessential Spoon lyric to anyone who has enjoyed the band in the past. It is as if you can hear Britt Daniel singing that line before even unwrapping the vinyl.

That familiar sense of tight in the pocket grooves, unique sonic textures and lyrical yearning of Spoon past is immediately evident with opener "Rent I Pay". The slapping snare mix with simple riffed guitar and big bass hits makes for an excellent kick start. What is new, and pushes the whole effort into a better realm, is the production effort from Dave Fridmann. The band credits his "pushing everything to the max" deliverance as having major sonic influence on the group.

That over-driven style shows up all over. Crunching guitars that crack through speakers, cymbals that shatter in headphones and bass so thick it distorts. Even mellower offerings like "Inside Out" soothes with keyboard fills and Motown styled bass thumps before cut off beats put a jagged edge underneath the flow.

This sonic distorted producing, combined with Spoon's cerebral approach to pop song writing is a perfect match as the tracks just seem to pile up on the successful front. "Rain Taxi" motors along on a "Gimme Some Lovin'" bass riff, "Do You" puts the pop sheen on, the sing along fuzz drench of the title track, the pluck/strum dance strut of "Let Me Be Mine" and disco touched closer "New York Kiss" all feel comfortingly familiar and grandly fresh. Even the acoustic blues piano number "I Just Don't Understand" has rough instrumentation and menace lurking beneath the surface. 

The aren't many negatives on They Want My Soul being picky, the mid album "Knock Knock Knock" tries to cram so much into one song things get slightly jumbled, but still manage to feel exhilarating in the end. There isn't a "single" sounding track or anything approaching their best songs from their career highpoint so far Ga Ga Ga Ga, but that could also be a tribute to how strong overall the album is.

Spoon have been so consistently good that they may underrated, it is hard to find a bad album or even many unflattering songs. On Transference (our least favorite offering) the band mixed things up and now having paired with Fridmann the band sounds inspired, back in the groove and ready for another go around.
Support the band here, buy the album here and peep some video below:

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