I must confess. I feel embarrassed to say that I have never heard Spoon before. By that I mean that I have never voluntarily selected a song from them on any of my music streaming selections or purchased an album by them. They have been part of soundtracks to movies I’ve seen in the past, such as “(500) Days of Summer”, and the 2015 “Poltergeist” remake (especially being a horror movie fan that I am), so I have listened to them at some point.
It was once again one of those bittersweet moments in life. On one hand, I felt like I should listened to the at some point because their music is incredible. On the other, it was such a delightful discovery that I cannot stop listening to everything they’ve done until now. And a band that has already released nine albums so far, it gives you enough material to enjoy days of great music.
If there is one thing that I enjoy in a band is their ability to mature. A band that learns more about who they are and challenge their ability to make music with every album is beautiful. I strongly believe that is the case with Spoon. With every album they’ve changed just enough for us to listen to their progress.
The latest album, entitled “Hot Thoughts” demonstrates not only their maturity, but their ability to learn and get inspired from their contemporaries. It is very easy to see influence from other bands. And although I haven’t read anything to that affect from the band, I think these references are close to unmistakable.
The first song of the album, also entitled “Hot Thoughts” has great combination of guitar riffs coming from the lead singer Britt Daniels and Rob Pope, mixed with bells and claps that add to the overall rhythm. A perfect start to an album.
“WhisperI’lllistentohearit” is probably one of the best song titles I’ve have ever seen. And the song doesn’t fall behind. It starts with a slower instrumental section and large vocals – only to shift in the middle to take a contemporary indie feel to it – resembling a mixture of Arctic Monkeys and Arcade Fire. The song lives in such a paradox in my view, that this shift seems to be a completely different song, and part of the same song.
“Do I Have To Talk You Into It” is marked by a steady rhythm of drums, bass and keyboards in such a way that your head moves along with it without you even knowing it. No need to talk me into listening to this song.
“First Caress” has a particular characteristic which I fell in love with. The backing vocals and some of the overdubs are whispered in such a way that it feels like the vocals are played right next to your ear. There is nothing better than listening to this song on a great set of headphones.
Another song I love is “Pink Up”. It kicks off with two minutes of instrumental music. It soon takes a mood of Bon Iver vocals, with layers of voices that make it so grandiose, that voices becomes a melodic instrument.
“Tear It Up” – very British feel to it (not forgetting that Spoon is a band from Austin, Texas). All I must say about it. You’ll see when you listen to it.
“Shotgun” is the most rock’n’roll song of the album. A powerful guitar sound and riff is accompanied by a fixed and paced rhythm of the bass. It almost has a soundtrack feel. If there was a movie made out of this album, “Shotgun” should be the opening track.
Finally, “Us” cannot be missed on this review. A sexy and smooth set of brass instruments (mainly a saxophone), with an effect that makes it sound like it is played on a auditorium. Midway through the song a set of drums and percussion comes in, complimenting the mood. A perfect end to a great album. So perfect that it feels like an intermission to the album, giving a breath and a need to listen to the album again.
Listen to the album on Spotify: