The Texan band "Spoon" have never really troubled the charts in the UK and yet in the States they are premier division. An oft quoted statistic on them is that the online review aggregator Metacritic has rated the band as the `overall top artist of the decade 2000-2009', beating some tough competition (including The White Stripes and Foo Fighters). Good reviews however do not necessarily signal a great band. In the case of Spoon it the outstanding consistency they have displayed over a long career which is the true signal of their substantial achievements. "They want my soul" is a significant addition to this.
This reviewer constructed some thoughts on Spoon's last album "Transference" well over four years ago (where did the time go?) It was a dark druggy little gem although it did sag in parts. "They want my soul" is much more approachable and Britt Daniels and Co have made an album which does not break any new ground other than prove that this band can write great songs in their sleep. The highlight on this album is funky "Do You" which is a the sort of pop rock gem that Spoon have almost patented. Other nice "turns" include the Spanish flavoured acoustics of "Knock, Knock, Knock" a largely acoustic workout for the band; whilst the opening thump of the Stones like opener "Rent I Pay" is a fine start to the album. There is certainly much more variety and balance on this album than the previous Spoon release and in "Outlier" there is a synth-streaked Spoon classic in the making. There are times where you wonder whether the band has penned a pop song too far. "I don't understand" does have echoes of Oasis but just about stays on the side of the angels, whilst "New York Kiss" echoes that synth based 80's pop that the Strokes have been peddling over recent years.
The scales of justice on this album do nevertheless heavily side on the good massively outweighing the odd poor track. Songs like "Rainy Taxi" are effortless power pop songs which are completely pulsating, while the slowed down synths of "Inside Out" witness an excellent throaty Britt Daniels vocal. Overall while this album probably will not see Spoon get their just deserts in the UK it will cement them as a band not in thrall to any passing fashion, content to plough on producing multi layered albums which aficionados of the band will relish.
Review by Red on Black