I can’t remember the first time I listened to Spoon. It was probably shortly after 2002’s Kill The Moonlight, and the fact that I own every album they’ve put out since then is a rare occurrence these days. Britt Daniel, Spoon’s frontman, has worked hard to elevate Spoon up to the indie royalty status they now enjoy. I mean, they’re one of the very few bands that constantly release solid follow-up albums. Nearly a decade since my first exposure, Spoon still carries weight in my over-crowded record bin. However, their 7th LP, Transference is a breath of fresh air for the band, and a welcome evolution to the band’s sound.
For the past few records, it’s safe to describe a Spoon album as…well, exactly that, “a Spoon album.” The clean production, the snappy beats and the hooky riffs that all came tightly together on every LP. It was a constant I could always count on, like Tom Selleck’s glorious mustache or the unholy suck-factor of Keystone Light. So, when Transference first pumped through my speakers, I was surprisingly shocked at how it sound so different, yet oddly familiar at the same time. This is the first LP to be solely produced by Britt Daniel and drummer Jim Eno, and it feels like a wonderfully personal sound. What we get is a Spoon album that is an exceptional stand-out from all of their previous work.
There’s no denying that it’s still a Spoon record. The band’s signature sound is still intact, especially on tracks like “Written In Reverse” and “Is Love Forever?” where the staccato beats take some blissfully sharp turns and always manages to result in head-nodding. But occasionally the mix gets a little rough and the instrumentation becomes subtlety more than just two-beat pop songs. Its tracks like “Who Makes Your Money,” “The Mystery Zone,” and the surprising ballad that is “Goodnight Laura.” And the results are an album that still shows you the Spoon you know and love, but it gives the band some much needed stretching room, and let’s them approach their music from a slightly different angle.
Transference simply maintains Spoon’s pedigree, by releasing yet another solid album. So, those looking for more, won’t come away disappointed. It’s just the slight differences in the production and songwriting that really make this a Spoon album to take heed of. And it’s a great way for Spoon to start off the new decade.