Music Review: Spoon's "Transference"

1/14/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Gita Gupte

Spoon's latest showing, "Transference," is more rock 'n roll than alt-country, but with this minor distinction, not much varies from the band's earlier and well-known drum-heavy antics and punchy guitar-infused songs. This is clearly an album inspired by a broken heart with a mix of melodic lullabies and anger-induced punk tunes. It spans the range of emotion you get when the one you love doesn't love you back.

"Before Destruction" is heavy on the drums with rough, reverberating vocals. This is a southern-influenced song with a raw and dark rock 'n roll feel to it. It takes you back to the band's 1990s beginnings.

"Is Love Forever" continues to focus on the drums, pushing punky staccato beats with studio-produced echoing vocals. This song is heavy on the music and light on the lyrics, and it has the musical elements of a Clash tune.

"The Mystery Zone" gives off a more poppish feel with similarities to the sounds of Wilco and the Foo Fighters. There are strong baselines here and overall the song is one of the better tracks.

"Who Makes Your Money" couples studio effects with sexy soft vocals; the same ones that made the band's earlier hit, "Turn My Camera On," such a success.

"Written in Reverse" provides gritty vocals and a beat that will make you want to move. "I Saw the Light" combines soft, smooth vocals with guitar and drum-heavy backing, giving us a proper rock 'n roll seduction without the complications of a hangover or regret. There also are a great few minutes of pure drum and piano jamming that is so precisely balanced that it takes you into a Zen zone. "Trouble Comes Running" should be noted for its strong and captivating guitar licks, while "Goodnight Laura" issues us a pure piano-driven lullaby.

"Out Go the Lights" is a mid-tempo song that has the same sultry qualities of Rilo Kiley's 2007 "Under The Blacklight" album. It is a treat of a song hidden in between upbeat rock tunes.

"Got Nuffin" mixes killer guitar riffs with vocals from a front man tormented by the demons of his lost love. The last song on the album, "Nobody Gets Me But You," has bluesy vocals that blend classic alt-country elements with a danceable backbeat.

Spoon is comprised of Austin rockers Britt Daniel (vocals, guitar), Jim Eno (drums), Rob Pope (bass) and Eric Harvey (keyboard, guitar, percussion, backing vocals). "Transference" isn't due out until next week, but you can stream the album in its entirety now, courtesy of NPR.

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