“It sounds like a Spoon album,” is how a friend described Spoon‘s latest full length They Want My Soul. And, for the most part, she’s right. It’s fastidiously produced. It’s a rock ‘n roll album. It packs plenty of “boom” to stand out at a crowded, lively gathering and, yet, sounds even better on a pair of headphones. And, of course, there is frontman Britt Daniel’s distinctive vocals. So, yeah, this sounds like a Spoon album.
Nonetheless, it’s also distinctive enough to stand out within the context of the band’s excellent catalog. Perhaps more than ever before, They Want My Soul showcases Spoon pushing their boundaries and exploring new territory. It may sound like a Spoon album, but They Want My Soul doesn’t sound like any other Spoon album.
For example, album opener “Rent I Pay” is a total beast of a jam that finds Spoon at their grittiest. It enters with a brusque, heavy beat that’s flanked by a pair of dirty reverb drenched guitar riffs. Disembodied yea’s unexpectedly jump into the mix and abruptly disappear. And throughout it all Britt Daniel is snarling and defiant, “Every kinda fortune gets old / Every kinda line is gonna come back to me just as I go.”
Meanwhile, it’s followed by the swooning, light-headed rush of “Inside Out.” It’s a glittering, crystal-studded exploration of opposites. Swirling, ethereal harpsichord is anchored by a deftly dribbling rhythm and Daniel’s earthy growl, “Time’s gone inside out / Time gets distorted when there’s intense gravity.” It’s an unexpectedly decadent and smooth groove for a band that typically plays it close to the street.
Similarly, the Bowie-esque “Knock Knock Knock” bobs with a rubbery guitar riff, a whistled melody, stabbing bursts of feedback, and vertigo-inducing synths. But, most of all, album closer “New York Kiss” is a neon-lit new wave jam that would feel entirely out of place on any other Spoon LP. It’s a mesmerizing track sewn together from a tapestry of fluttering synths and sparkling grooves.
Still, there are plenty of moments (such as tracks like the single “Do You” and title track “They Want My Soul”) where Spoon keep it simple (relatively speaking of course) and just dish out excellent, meticulously produced rockers like we’ve come to expect from them over the years.
The result is one of the year’s best albums and another classic in Spoon’s already impressive catalog. Decadent, sonically rich, and satisfying, They Want My Soul is also our suggested Musical Pairing for the Double Chocolate Brownies recipes Kasey is featuring on the site today. Break out the edibles and the good headphones, you’ll be glad you did.
You can order They Want My Soul here.