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Album Review

by Spoon


Review Date
26th January 2010
Reviewed by
Ryan Eyers

Given the plethora of bands that seem to be doing all they can to break out of convention, experimenting at every turn, it’s refreshing to discover a band that simply know how to write great songs, and on Transference there’s nary a song that you’d even call mediocre, such is the consistency of the batch. While Spoon may sometimes leave you wishing they’d just let go of the reins a little and freak out or go crazy it’s hard to complain when nearly everything they come up with is so engaging in its simplicity. You won’t hear any lengthy guitar solos, overly complex rhythms or over-the-top ivory tinkling, but instead a mesmerising mix of steady, punchy beats, comforting bass, driving, angular guitar lines and the odd piano behind the cracked, understated urgings of Daniel’s vocal deliveries. Simply put, Spoon know their trade, and know how to sound damn cool while doing it, with tracks like ‘The Mystery Zone’, ‘Got Nuffin’ and lead single ‘Written In Reverse’ swaggering along with a laid-back intensity hidden amongst the taut arrangements, clever hooks and slightly obscure lyrics.

Having said that, Transference also sees Spoon a little less polished, sounding a little rougher around the edges, perhaps due to the band’s decision to largely self-produce this time around, an effect that gives the album a feeling of realism, of life, as songs tail off, end abruptly and generally bump into each other. ‘Goodnight Laura’, a piano-driven ballad that has Daniel at his most tender, anchors the softer segment of the album with the eerie ‘Out Go The Lights’ before the albums bursts back into life with ‘Got Nuffin’ and funky closer ‘Nobody Gets Me But You’, a largely instrumental jam that meanders along with snatches of broken piano, spartan percussion and clanging guitar, encapsulating the band’s ability to let a song develop on its own and create something inspired out of what seems like nothing. While Transference may not see the band take a great leap forward in sound that’s mainly due to the fact they simply don’t need to, and if they keep producing albums as cohesive, charming and well-crafted as this, Spoon are likely to remain one of the most consistently great bands around.

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