Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Re: Transference, What He Said

Spoon are cool in a supposedly "post-cool" era, cool in an old school rock'n'roll way.  There's a slight edge, danger, aloofness they project (I'm thinking mostly in terms of their music, rather than their fairly nondescript image) in a way that few of their fellow Pazz'n'Jop perennials do.  Of the top 20 artists in this year's P&J albums list, perhaps only the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and, of course, Sonic Youth, give off a similar vibe.

After sitting on that first paragraph for a while, I was going to pick it up and write more about Transference, talking about how Spoon's incredible each-album-better-than-the-last streak was finally over.  That this was a good album (very good, even), but that maybe they'd taken the spare/minimal/reductive approach one step too far this time.   But then I finally caught up with Rob Harvilla's take in the Village Voice and realized it would be better to just link to the work of a professional who basically nailed it.

Just a few more stray thoughts on the subject:

Using a William Eggleston photo as your cover is always a fine choice, indicative of good taste, and they picked a particularly nice one.

Eggleston reminds me of Big Star which reminds me that "Goodnight Laura" is kinda sorta Spoon's "Blue Moon".

With each album, it becomes clearer that Britt Daniel is one of the best and most distinctive lyricists working - an aspect of Spoon's music I don't often see mentioned.  Maybe because his lyrics often don't "make sense". [Update: Tom Ewing is on the case over at his new Guardian gig]  

"The Beast and Dragon, Adored" is easily one of the best recordings of the past ten years or so, and might still be the high point of Spoon's career, but I'd give Ga, etc. a slight edge over Gimme Fiction.  Both stone classic albums, though.

No comments: