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Hot Thoughts is a disaster

(27 posts)
  • Started 7 months ago by iamthekey
  • Latest reply from middlenamewayne

  1. User has not uploaded an avatar
    iamthekey
    (54 Posts)

    Long time Spoon fan. My number one favorite band. Ive been on this board a long long time and post every now and then.

    I suppose it had to happen eventually, but finnally we have a bad Spoon album. I'm not mad about it tbh. They don't owe me anything. Their catalogue is easily better and bigger than 99% of any other bands. But its certainly got its first black eye this time.

    I'll say what I like about the album first, which is really two songs. Tear It Down is a decent John Lennon style Beatles song, Britt doing his best lennon impression and the production really bounces. Its a solid track, if a little bit cliche. I'm Not The One is likewise calssic spoon, sort of Transference feeling with a really great production. Piano sound is really steller. Im sure this is about to be the background song in about 100 TV shows.

    Hot Thoughts is fine. Its a little bit overdone, and the lyrics lack and clever hook, which is unusual for a Spoon song. Brit cant quite pull of the Bowie-esque bridge lyrics... I mean it just doesnt fit his persona. But its a fine song. Likewise Can I Sit Next To You has a really unremarkable vocal melody with mariginal lyrics, but pulls off such a solid groove that it doesnt matter. A totally decent Spoon song.

    The rest is just utter dreck. I dont know what they were thinking. Id like to think Fridman brought out the worst tendancies in Brit, which I do think happened, but also it just seems like they are devoid of any melody or cleverness. Do I Have to Talk you Into it is just... bad. It sounds like later day Aerosmith where Steven Tyler is trying to be tough but just sounds like a PG-13 movie. A particularily bad line would be "When the mood of the era's gone
    Everybody fading me, even my ma" I mean... really? Rhyming "ma"? First Caress is even worse. "And when you say, and when you say the wrong thing
    Oh, I know I hear the right thing" I mean.. just ugh.

    Shotgun starts out with a kind of nice groove, but repeats the same lyrics so many times it just becomes absurd. Its sort of a cool lyric once, but the repitiveness makes you realize how shallow and dumb the idea and sentiment is. Us is a complete waste of time. Some like Blade runner bullshit on top of boring drums? It doesnt even sound remotely like Spoon, or the rest of the album for that matter.

    After this record, Im fairly convinced Brit needs Mike McCarthy around to tell him when hes being lazy or wrongheaded. Also David Fridman has a history of being really really hit or miss as a producer, and this one is a big miss. The production sounds overdone and vaguely annoying the whole time. Theres very little of the space that Spoon requires. The drus sound like corny 80s drums instead of the usual Spoon cool drum machine-y sound. Its a real mess.

    Finnally, the sentiment is all wrong. Spoon were always the sort of cerebal, buttoned down good guys with clever production, good melodies, and mysterious or at least slightly clever lyrics. This album has none of that, and replaceness the maturirty with a sort of wannabe rockstar-ness that doesnt sit right, makes everyone sound like an asshole, and is generally off putting.

    So yeahhh... I hope you guys can enjoy this stuff but... as far as I'm concerned Spoon ended with TWMS. Which is fine, thats quite a great catalogue.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  2. User has not uploaded an avatar
    Poco Y Loco
    (41 Posts)

    Steven Tyler? UR on glue.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  3. User has not uploaded an avatar
    Rise84
    (17 Posts)

    Wow.. Sorry, but I totally disagree. Long time fan or not, if you don't evolve with the band such as Spoon, you're just going to be dissatisfied as time goes on. This album is SUPERB, and I know many people will agree with me. Sorry they let you down on this one, maybe next time!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  4. captain_arz
    captain_arz
    (119 Posts)

    iamthekey, OUCH!! You've been on this board for a good while amigo, I can respect the honesty, but thats harsh. Every album since GAGAGAGAGA has taken me some time to get used to. So far I like the overall tone of Hot Thoughts. Very different from previous albums, but as always, with touches of that Spoon sound that seems to weave into every record. I'm gonna need to listen a few more time through, but I'm floored to have some new Spoon to listen to. Plus a new Limited edition red vinyl to add to my collection!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  5. middlenamewayne
    middlenamewayne
    (30 Posts)

    Ooh, Arz! We a red vinyl pansy? Don't have what it takes to get the purple! If you get the purple you may win the green! You need the green to get the gold -- and they didn't even *make* any in gold!

    Posted 7 months ago #
  6. User has not uploaded an avatar
    iamthekey
    (54 Posts)

    @captain. Yeah man, I mean, I don't mean to take away from other peoples enjoyment of it. And Im not rly that bitter, I was just trying to articulate the many things that turn me off from about half the songs on the LP. I do think Im not the One is a sick song 100%. And Tear It Down is catchy as hell.

    I was half hoping someone could explain their love of Do I Have To Talk You Into It or Pink Up in a way that made sense. But as it is.. those songs just remind me more of Steven Tyler doing his John Lennon impression like Livin' On The Edge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nqcL0mjMjw rather than Britts usual awesome vocal delivery. Something about the phrasing. And sort of... I cant tell exactly where the lyrics are supposed to be going on that one but I mean they sound awfully date-rapey in 2017.

    Its like the usualy studio tricks that land so well on Spoon albums are just all over the map here. It sounds like a band rocking out to be "cool" and not like a band just trying to craft a perfect song.

    But yeah, I'm hoping eventually Ill come aroudn to more of the album but its sort of a non starter for me at the moment. Which Ive never felt about spoon. Transference is one of my favs.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  7. User has not uploaded an avatar
    Rise84
    (17 Posts)

    @iamthekey I respect your opinion. However, reading your previous posts I believe there's a complete misunderstanding. Since the very beginning of the promotion of this album, especially in interviews, Britt continuously stated that the direction of this album will be "futuristic". He stated that this album will be nothing like they've done before, featuring no acoustic guitars. He says that he will do that again some other time. With that said, go back and enjoy the album as it was intended to be, not something you hoped it to be. I hope you have a better idea of the bands intentions on this new record. As a musician myself, a huge fan of their earlier stuff too, I am very proud of the outcome of his album.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  8. User has not uploaded an avatar
    MorganBell
    (37 Posts)

    @iamthekey I totally get where you're coming from. This is less of a rock record then they've done before (but in my estimation, still ends up being a guitar rock album), and i even get where you're coming from on the lyrics being different than any other Spoon record (because they definitely are), but like Rise84 said, they were trying to take a different approach to this album. For me, it's hard to put a label on lyricism without hearing what the songs are actually about from the songwriter. I'd hate to think or believe that Britt phoned it in lyrically on this record, mostly because every time i see the man live he puts everything into it. I really believe he puts his mind and soul into these records. This is a very heavily layered studio album with a shit ton of synth on it and the most avant-garde production they've done yet. I really have to say, i think it's a really innovative and inspired piece. If you want my honest opinion on production, i think they should've been producing all of their own records since Transference. Let me put it this way: I'm a fan of Phoenix (and have been since Alphabetical), and like Spoon have a flawless catalog. On their last album took the same kind of "lets try to do something different" avant-garde approach and changed the sound. It was right after their biggest commercial success and it was kind of a flop. Honestly, i think it was a piece of shit. Some bands take a chance and i think thats what Spoon did here. Most of us are bias and have a hard time with an objective listen, but i really do honestly think this is a really good album. They take some experimental strides here that really hit a home run for me.

    I don't get the Steven Tyler comparison at all, though. Maybe on a level of both bands being influenced by the Beatles, but that's about it. I do hate Aerosmith, though, so thats probably part of that statement almost offending me... If anything, I think this record takes them further into psychedelic territory than ever before, as exemplified perfectly by "Pink Up" (which i think is bad ass). I really feel an interesting mix of current day, electronically influenced psychedelia (think Radiohead and Tame Impala) with 80s new wave (i'm thinking Peter Gabriel and 80s Bowie) with the usual classic rock influence of bands like the Beatles and Stones. The one thing that keeps this album from slipping into an overproduced apocalypse is the fact that these songs are still basically just rock and roll tunes, at their root. I've actually made a conscious attempt to pin down any vocal mimics on this record and all I'm really hearing is Britt being Britt (maybe Jagger or Prince for a second here and there). Thats the one thing that's always made Spoon, Spoon to me, is Britt having his own vocal style. Influenced, yes, but he plays to his strengths and goes for his "sweet spots" to bring the rock home. Other than that, bring on the Mellotron, bring on the slap-back delays, bring on those dance beats, and bring on those echoing all over the place vocals. I will admit, i think "Us" is a bit too avant-garde for me, though. I do appreciate it, and think it may be somewhat of a personal homage to Bowie from the band, but I won't be purposely putting it on just to hear it. However, I love sax and think it's hella under utilized in modern music. I'd be interested in hearing the original cut of that, before it hit the "editing room".

    Not every song is a winner the first time, but I guess it might be dependent on what you're looking for from a Spoon record. Honestly, i think they're picking up where they left of with Transference, to a degree. A lot of this album isn't "radio friendly" and there are some transitions that take some getting used to, whereas most of TWMS could have been a radio hit. I will say, there are a few places on this album that remind me of a Nigel Godrich production, and that excites the fuck out of me. They've gone back to retaining a bit of the dark feel from Transference and Gimme Fiction that i thought they lost on TWMS, and that makes me happy.

    If Transference is a "blast it in your car with the windows up" album, and TWMS is a "blast it in your car with your windows down" album, I think Hot Thoughts is a "blast it from your spaceship with the windows up, because you can't breath in space, you dummy" kind of album.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  9. Tyler Darling
    Tyler Darling
    (636 Posts)

    I don't have a lot to post, YET. I am on vacation for a few weeks, and Hot Thoughts came out in my second day into the trip. So I don't have a lot of time to disect. I have had only a few surface listens. But I really like it. There is not a bad song in it for me really. I don't think Spoon doing an Instrumental is weird, they have done it before. Also "Do I Have to Talk You Into It" is my favorite song so far. The beat, descending riff, it's SO Spoon and I love it.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  10. User has not uploaded an avatar
    rank
    (3 Posts)

    I enjoy the album but it took me several listens to really dig into it. I like "Do I Have To Talk You Into It" but it has the same kind of riff as "The Beast & Dragon, Adored" (which I love) & then leads into "First Caress" which sounds too similar to me. I really dig the closer "Us" but really wanted it to be a song not just an instrumental. It would be amazing to hear Britt over the sax. The sequencing of the album feels weird to me. It feels choppier than any album they have every done. It feels like a short slight statement of an album, not a major work. Not a bad thing but kind of a surprise from them.

    My MAJOR complaint with the album has been the exclusion of the song "Satellite" that they have been playing live. I found that to be an incredible song & was really looking forward to a studio version of it. I am hoping for a Bside of it at least.

    Posted 7 months ago #
  11. User has not uploaded an avatar
    Poco Y Loco
    (41 Posts)

    If it's a disaster, sign me up for 2 more.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  12. Tyler Darling
    Tyler Darling
    (636 Posts)

    Well I am a huge sequencing and album perfectionist. As a a huge Spoon fan, my favorite album is Gimme Fiction, however it is not perfect. I think that album could lose 1 song, and be re-sequemced to make apperfect album. However that is my subjective, and personal preference.

    Hot thoughts, in my opinion, is perfectly sequenced. For vinyl, and for digital and cd. Opener is great. Then you have a longer song with a tempo change, great. Then a really catchy one in, then a shorter poppier one, then a longer free flowing song, then side 2......which starts with the fantastic Can I sit next to you.....etc

    The songs sound different from one to the next....but I don't think that's choppy, that's variety.

    This album has more risk, and variety. And while They Want my Soul was great, it took no risks really. It is great and has aged well. It was the perfect move after Transference. And I think Hot Thoughts is a perfect follow up to that. That SPOON SYNERGY YO!

    Posted 6 months ago #
  13. User has not uploaded an avatar
    rank
    (3 Posts)

    "my favorite album is Gimme Fiction, however it is not perfect. I think that album could lose 1 song, and be re-sequemced to make apperfect album."

    I gotta ask, what song would you drop & what sequence would you go with?

    Posted 6 months ago #
  14. Tyler Darling
    Tyler Darling
    (636 Posts)

    I have posted on the boards about it before. I put a lot of thought into it then. I will either look up my post or re-evaluate. But the song you lose is "Was it You?" everythime. I'm sure of that. Not a bad song, I just think the album loses momentum there. It's a soundscape, cool vibes, but it can be cut. I'll get back to you on sequence.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  15. Tyler Darling
    Tyler Darling
    (636 Posts)

    Also Rank, I definitely feel you on not getting Satellite. I have many songs like that from bands I love, where you get a great live track, but never get on an album. But it's usually because it just doesn't fit the album, or they aren't happy with it in the studio. Never a lack of trying. It would be stupid for a band to have great success with a song wheuplayed live, and just not put it on an album.

    I have a theory though......heard from a Spoon source they are putting out a special vinyl for record store day......Fingers crossed it has Satellite! About a month and we will find out

    Posted 6 months ago #
  16. 31starbright
    31starbright
    (160 Posts)

    No Satellite for the Record Store Day Release. Info about what's on the Record Store Day Release is here: http://recordstoreday.com/SpecialRelease/9324

    I also wish they could've put Satellite on the album, but the more I think about it, I don't think it fits with the rest of Hot Thoughts. Maybe it's something they can put on the next album.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  17. User has not uploaded an avatar
    rank
    (3 Posts)

    I don't think it would have fit either but I just really dig the song.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  18. User has not uploaded an avatar
    Rise84
    (17 Posts)

    @31starbright I was actually hoping for bsides, especially Satellite. When I first heard it on YouTube, I was completely anticipating a single release. Hopefully, if it doesn't get released on another album, they plan do to some type of rarities compilation down the road.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  19. User has not uploaded an avatar
    iamthekey
    (54 Posts)

    @rank. Yeah seriously! Although I am actually relieved. It wouldn't really fit in with the album and hopefully it ends up on a future, better sounding record.

    @Tylerdarling man, thats funny, I couldn't disagree more. Gimme Fiction is like my perfect/fav spoon album. I wouldnt change anything about it. I love how Was It You segues into Never Got You.

    After giving it some more listens, sequencing is a big reason I don't like Hot Thoughts. The two songs i find really repellent are Do I Have To Talk You Into It and First Caress. Their prominent sequencing helped turn me away from the album. I can't stand the lazy rhymes/lyrics, the boring melodies, the frat-boy attitudes, and the cheesy horrible synth sounds used in those songs. The rest of the songs range from mediocre to actually quite good. Overall I cut the album down to about four or five songs and I can kind of enjoy whats left as a short EP.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  20. devilsdishes
    devilsdishes
    (88 Posts)

    It's so interesting to read about the different reactions you're all having to these songs. I appreciate iamthekey being honest and going there, and I similarly struggle with some of the tracks. Shotgun is unlistenable, in my opinion. But I actually really like Pink Up and Tear It Down. Just goes to show that it's all such a personal, subjective experience and takes time and patience to really sit with the songs and process them. I don't understand how music critics even have jobs.

    Also - the RSD release includes Love Letters, which I believe is the same (I hope) cover Britt did for Rookie Magazine. http://www.stereogum.com/1616892/britt-daniel-love-letters-shelley-fabares-cover/mp3s/

    Posted 6 months ago #
  21. User has not uploaded an avatar
    MorganBell
    (37 Posts)

    I'd be happy if they dropped "Satellite", "My First Time Volume 3" style. That was a wonderful nugget of joy when that just appeared out of nowhere.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  22. User has not uploaded an avatar
    Rise84
    (17 Posts)

    @devilsdishes Interesting.. I wonder why it says "Elvis Presely cover" on the press release, here's a quote: "Spoon will release the 12" single “Hot Thoughts” including two otherwise unavailable tracks: “Hot Thoughts (Dave Sitek Remix) and Spoon’s cover of Elvis Presley’s "Love Letters”. 01 Hot Thoughts 02 Hot Thoughts (Dave Sitek Remix) 03 Love Letters (Elvis Presley Cover)".

    I'm sure it's the same song, just weird the link you posted credited another artist as the cover.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  23. User has not uploaded an avatar
    MorganBell
    (37 Posts)

    I think some of the recent interviews that Britt has done (namely the Rolling Stone interview) may be able to clear up some lyrical misgivings, and lend to a bit of perspective.

    Also, I really have to say that I pretty much need to hear a demo of "Us" at this point. Britt was stoked about that track specifically, and I really need some perspective to be able to appreciate it.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  24. Tyler Darling
    Tyler Darling
    (636 Posts)

    @iamthekey My other big problem With Gimme Fiction is album closer, Merchants of Soul. It has to be the most lackluster closer of any Spoon album. Not a bad song, just doesn't do the album justice, I mean think about it. That's why Gimme Fiction is great, my personal favorite album after years of debate. But it could be even better with fixed sequencing, and removing Was it You. Again not a bad song, a great B side. It just stays in the same place lyrically, and musically too long. So in a pretend world I want to make a great album perfect, and just for fun. I know Spoon takes albums, and sequencing, very seriously, so this is just my opinion. Tune in for final list.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  25. Tyler Darling
    Tyler Darling
    (636 Posts)

    @iamthekey My other big problem With Gimme Fiction is album closer, Merchants of Soul. It has to be the most lackluster closer of any Spoon album. Not a bad song, just doesn't do the album justice, I mean think about it. That's why Gimme Fiction is great, my personal favorite album after years of debate. But it could be even better with fixed sequencing, and removing Was it You. Again not a bad song, a great B side. It just stays in the same place lyrically, and musically too long. So in a pretend world I want to make a great album perfect, and just for fun. I know Spoon takes albums, and sequencing, very seriously, so this is just my opinion. Tune in for final list.

    Posted 6 months ago #
  26. Tyler Darling
    Tyler Darling
    (636 Posts)

    I am making a new thread with my new Gimme Fiction track list, and short analysis! Check it!

    Posted 6 months ago #
  27. middlenamewayne
    middlenamewayne
    (30 Posts)

    TyDar, since you are so into it...

    The advance CD-R of GF that Britt burned for me back then had "B & D" twice, as 1st and last cut. Pretty sure it was purely an accident, but feel free to analyze...

    Posted 4 months ago #

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