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Sunday December 21st 2014

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Ears & Fingers 8/7/14

by Jason Leger

Spoon-They Want My Soul
It’s been four years since “Transference” became the first Spoon album to ever put me to sleep. Following that gap, several Britt Daniels’ side projects, the addition of a new member, and an absolutely brilliant marketing campaign, we have the new album. It’s called “They Want my Soul,” and I have never been happier with a Spoon LP.

Don’t get me wrong, “Gimme Fiction” is classic, “Kill the Moonlight” is monumental, and “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” is a hell of a lot of fun, but “They Want My Soul” is absolutely flawless. It sounds like they aren’t really trying that hard. What I mean by that is it’s a light album, not a lot of heavy themes or overly technical compositions. For the most part, it’s simply a strong pop-rock record, containing the band’s best hopes for mainstream success.

Earlier this year, I noticed Spoon was having a sale on their T-shirts, so I bit and bought a couple. Little did I know this was a very creative way of getting addresses to promote their new album. A couple of weeks after I got the shirts, I got an eerie box in the mail. Inside there were several stickers, a button, postcard, and a T-shirt that said, “Spoon R.I.P June 10.” I initially took this to mean that the band were calling it quits and would release something on June 10. I had half of it right.

“R.I.P.”, I would soon come to find out, means ‘Rent I Pay,’ the first single from “They Want My Soul,” which was released on June 10. Honestly, it didn’t seem like their strongest foot, but more like sticking a finger in the air to get acclimated. Seemingly, every two weeks or so, another single would drop. The tracks that followed, ‘Do You’ and ‘Inside Out’ caught my attention in a much more brash way. ‘Do You’ is emotive and urgent, while still remaining catchy and upbeat. ‘Inside Out’ is five minutes of elegant, pulsating perfection, and upon first listen entered my top ten favorite songs from this year. These forerunners offered a good taste of what the finished product would sound like. ‘Rainy Taxi’ is on point and quick, with a feel of feverish space running throughout. ‘Knock Knock Knock’ tells us what a collaboration with Danger Mouse would sound like. While ‘Inside Out’ is the highlight of the album for me, it was given a run for its money by ‘New York Kiss,’ a hazy, poignant, danceable track that closes the album. Collectively, I think this is the band’s strongest group of songs.

I feel that Spoon is an American classic, deserving of the same cred given to Wilco and My Morning Jacket. Hopefully this album will open them up to a broader audience, and we can forget about “Transference.” Either way, they completely redeemed themselves with me. “They Want My Soul” is out now via Loma Vista Records.

Track of the Week: Rustie featuring Danny Brown-Attak
Rustie is an EDM producer from Glasgow, Scotland. Danny Brown is, well, everywhere. For a rapper with a growing name, he does an expansive number of collaborations and seems to pop up at random times. He also never seems to miss. ‘Attak’ is two verses from Brown laid over an infectious beat from Rustie. Check it out on Rustie’s Soundcloud.