Spoon is an indie rock band hailing from Austin, Texas, and it has been playing and performing since 1993.
Its ninth studio album is nothing to sit on and forget about. The 42-minute LP is packed with experimental jams that will prove to people that indie rock is definitely not dead.
After listening to the whole album about a dozen times, there are a lot of things that need to be said for both the record and indie rock in general.
First, the influences on the album are very recognizable. “Do I Have to Talk You Into It,” “WhisperI’lllistentohearit” and “Can I Sit Next to You” have an obvious Red Hot Chili Peppers rock sound, and “Pink Up,” “I Ain’t The One” and “First Caress” contain an easy to detect art rock sound that Radiohead is known for.
Next, Spoon isn’t afraid to surprise its listeners.
Songs like “Pink Up” and “Us” are great examples. They both have this jazz loop that feels like you are soaring through space and time.
“Shotgun,” which has this very punchy and unorganized — in a good way — beat, also keeps listeners tapping their feet.
Throughout the whole album there are also nods to old musical acts. “Tear It Down” is a nod to the Beatles, with a fusion of pop rock and art rock. “Hot Thoughts” is a nod to a time when indie rock first started out, containing a catchy rock beat with enough experimentation with other instruments to hold you in.
In general, the production on the album is crisp and sweet. Each instrument is potent and easy to hear. The different chimes and whistles that come up throughout the record are distinct and help add individuality.
Songs like “Hot Thought,” “WhisperI’lllistentohearit,” “First Caress,” “Pink Up” and “Us” all have this great use of different electric sounds that help drive the album forward.
Plus, the auto-tuned vocals and synth guitars keep the vibe on a straight path. The album might not be something that you listen to in full and feel an emotional connection with, but it is something that you can just put on and feel good about.
Also, the writing process of each song is just different enough to not be an A to B formula. Each song gives the listener a new mood and atmosphere to experience.
There are some small flaws with the record though. The band took a lot of risks with this album, and again, weren’t scared to try something new.
A few songs like “First Caress” just sound tacky. The beat isn’t all that interesting and the vocals just seem out of place. They were definitely going for an ‘80s space-rock sound, but fell flat on the instrumentation.
“Us” was the band trying to create an industrial, spacy rock sound, but it’s extremely boring and is way too long. The song seems like it’s building to something amazing, but it never gets there.
Overall, the album is a great way to show that Spoon is in no way dead. It is trying to keep itself modern and relevant in such a different music industry through its use of synths, guitar work and different sounds.
With that said, the band still isn’t breaking any new ground with this album, but it deserves a listen and is worth a purchase.
Happy listening, Gannon University! Let us know what you think of the album.
• Rating: low 8/10
• Favorite Song: “Can I Sit Next to You”
• Least Favorite Song: “First Caress”
• Related Artists: Arcade Fire, The New Pornographers, Skellington, Wilco