They Want My Soul

Written by: HES on 29/12/2014 03:56:52

So this "Spoon"-phenomenon is quite new to me. I only thought of reviewing the quintet's latest album because I went through lists of this year's supposedly best albums on Pitchfork and Metacritic. I was wondering if something had slipped through the cracks - figuratively. And yeah, I'd seen some of my influential music-biz facebook acquaintances rage about either the band or that album. So here are my thoughts on Spoon's "They Want My Soul" and the dramatic conclusion of whether it will be on my list of the best albums of 2014.

Having previously been more inspired by that Pixies sound of the 90's, "They Want My Soul" sounds more like an homage to the more melancholic light of the brit rock spectre, in spite of the band being from Austin, Texas. Drummer Jim Eno has described Spoon's musical stylings as psychedelic - however that must be figuratively speaking; this however fits well with "They Want My Soul"'s many repetitive choruses that continue in loops of waltz-like rhythms.

Whereas I find most of the album to in some way be stuck in this dreamy limbo, some tracks manage to stick out of the hypnosis including the rhythmically driven "Inside Out" that presents itself initially by a floaty intro leading to an almost electronic sounding refrain. The softness of the soundscape works splendidly with singer Britt Daniel's rough voice. "The Rent I Pay" is more of what you would expect to go with Daniel's voice: A gritty, simple-as-it-gets, just between punk and postpunk anthem, primarily driven forward by guitar and drums. "Rainy Taxi" relies on tucking on the same strings, but its composition is beyond most of the other tracks on the album - forcing Daniel into a falsetto and using the catchyness of post-punk melancholy to drag you in.

Unfortunately most of the songs circle the same old drain that I mentioned in my initial impressions - the album seems to get stuck in the same old grid of repetition and many of the tracks never really seem to peak, but seem to slowly die out in waves of the same hypnotizing motifs. Many of the reviewers that put this album in the very top of the scale mention the band's history and their apparently prominent position on the indie stage. The melancholy of the articles are almost as thick as is on the record, but for an album to really make it to my picks of the year I'd expect the album to be an apparent stroke of genius, regardless of my previous acquaintance with Spoon. Unfortunately all of the buzz seems to be more about melancholic writers rather than genius records. "They Want My Soul" is a very decent, but low energy indie record with very few rays of actual sunshine.


Download: Inside Out, Rainy Taxi, The Rent I Pay
For the fans of: Dr. Dog, The Shins,
Listen: Facebook

Release date 04.08.2014
Loma Vista Recordings

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