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.