10 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

During the extended break following the release of 2010’s Transference, the musicians in Spoon recharged with side-projects, studio work and ventures in producing—all of which come to bear brilliantly on the band’s ninth full-length release. Opening with the churning guitar and crackling overdrive of “Rent I Pay”, They Want My Soul emerges as Spoon’s most sonically adventurous album to date. Top-shelf producers including My Morning Jacket producer Joe Chiccarelli and Flaming Lips collaborator Dave Fridmann add heft to the sinewy power pop that’s become the band’s signature. A terse tune like “Inside Out” has familiar elements in the spare instrumentation and Britt Daniel’s persistent vocal melody, but its colourful production flourishes—a distant smear of vintage synth-strings here, a celestial sweep harp there—add depth to distinguish it from much of the band’s terse, minimally orchestrated earlier work. The best moments—like when the brittle acoustic guitar of “Knock Knock Knock” is interrupted by a nasty squall of feedback and immediately soothed by echoing “oohs”, or the bass-and-maraca pulse of “Outlier”—accompany the band’s sophisticated songwriting with appropriately widescreen production. The album’s unexpected cover comes toward the end, with a rendition of Ann Margaret’s heartbroken “I Just Don’t Understand”.

EDITORS’ NOTES

During the extended break following the release of 2010’s Transference, the musicians in Spoon recharged with side-projects, studio work and ventures in producing—all of which come to bear brilliantly on the band’s ninth full-length release. Opening with the churning guitar and crackling overdrive of “Rent I Pay”, They Want My Soul emerges as Spoon’s most sonically adventurous album to date. Top-shelf producers including My Morning Jacket producer Joe Chiccarelli and Flaming Lips collaborator Dave Fridmann add heft to the sinewy power pop that’s become the band’s signature. A terse tune like “Inside Out” has familiar elements in the spare instrumentation and Britt Daniel’s persistent vocal melody, but its colourful production flourishes—a distant smear of vintage synth-strings here, a celestial sweep harp there—add depth to distinguish it from much of the band’s terse, minimally orchestrated earlier work. The best moments—like when the brittle acoustic guitar of “Knock Knock Knock” is interrupted by a nasty squall of feedback and immediately soothed by echoing “oohs”, or the bass-and-maraca pulse of “Outlier”—accompany the band’s sophisticated songwriting with appropriately widescreen production. The album’s unexpected cover comes toward the end, with a rendition of Ann Margaret’s heartbroken “I Just Don’t Understand”.

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