Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Best Albums of 2010, No 3 - Spoon's Transference

When Britt Daniel's mother listened to Transference, she worried that Spoon might be going too metal.

Maybe not metal, but Transference is an album that sees Daniel and company finally let go, strip everything down and get incredibly loose ("pure Spoon" Daniel says of it). Where Gimme Fiction is a shining example of tightly wound perfect indie collegiate radio rock, and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is a classic that improved the previous formula, Transference gets rid of all that and sticks to a few chords here and there. It's a return to that sparse sound of Girls Can Tell, but from a band that's more assured of where it's been and where it's going.

At turns it sounds remarkably unfinished (indeed, five of the 11 tracks are unpolished demos, a testament to Spoon's musicianship). But not unfinished in a Michael Jackson leftover kind of way. Just very raw. Raw in the way each song assaults. You might feel violated by Written in Reverse, and I'm pretty sure the piano did since its banged to kingdom come.

It's raw in the lyrics. "No one else remembers my name. Just those parts that I play" Daniel sighs in the closer Nobody Gets Me But You. And the title of "Is Love Forever" kinda says it all.

But it's that rawness and essentially freedom that has seen Spoon evolve to the band it is on Transference. He still likes his corny but endearing ballads (Goodnight Laura < Black Like Me < Fitted Shirt). And they still get plenty funky and obscure. What exactly is "Who Makes Your Money" about anyway?

Over it all, one thing is for certain - Transference is pure Spoon.

Buy Spoon's Transference at the Amazon mp3 Store

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