in Review

Transference: More Than Meets the Eye

Spoon – Transference

I think we still need to coordinate for when we do our “Best Films of 2009” I’m ready but until than I’ve got plenty to write about. Were still in the first month of the new year and I’ve already listened to a handful of albums worth discussing. Most notably releases from Vampire Weekend and Spoon, I’ll concentrate on established indie rockers Spoon for today’s entry.

For anyone who reads this blog you’ll remember that I declared Spoon’s last album Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga as my favorite album of the last decade. Does that mean my expectations where high for album number seven? Actually no, I mean what more could I ask for? I like Spoon, I like a lot of their songs but when it comes to full length albums, I’ve always felt that they often don’t live up to their full potential. Like they have trouble separating the truly great tracks from just messing around in the studio. With the release of Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Spoon reached new levels of pop/rock song-writing expertise and although this release is no where near as impressive, it’s still well on the higher end of Spoon releases.

Spoon’s still doing what they do best on Transference and that’s creating unique arrangements with often the most minimalistic approach. The songs aren’t as memorable as on album number six but they have their moments. Founding members Britt Daniels and drummer Jim Eno take a bare bones approach to producing, even swaying occasionally into low-fi waters. There’s a compelling use of both vocal and guitar effects applied to this new batch of tunes and always results into something completely original.

I kind of miss the lack of radio friendly singles but that doesn’t mean these songs aren’t entertaining in their own way. “Before Destruction” is a great opener with it’s moody acoustic sound and it’s followed by another one of my favs the short and sweet “Is Love Forever?”. Tracks like “The Mystery Zone” or “Written in Reverse” are nice additions but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think they wore out their welcome after awhile. “Trouble Comes Running” is easily my favorite track on the album and feels like it could of belonged on Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. It’s spunky, poppy and catchy… I hope to hear that one blasted on the airwaves if it’s ever released as a single (Strangely enough “Written in Reverse” was the debut single.)

So it’s good, not great and basically what I expected. I’m glad to see that Spoon remains to be experimental with their releases and will always be intrigued by their future plans.

Favorite Tracks: “Beyond Destruction”, “Is Love Forever?”, “Trouble Comes Running”