Review: They Want My Soul by Spoon

Let’s just get this out of the way, I LOVE this album. This is my favorite album of the year, without a doubt. If you know me, you know sometimes I deep dive into an album and it’s all I listen to for months at a time. Notable examples of this are most Radiohead albums, Honeycomb by Frank Black and The Monitor by Titus Andronicus. It’s not healthy, and I realize that. But it happens.

It’s happening right now.

Spoon has always been a band that would come on random and I’d immediately wonder who they were, and why I wasn’t listening to them all the time. And for a while there about 4 years ago, I did. I devoured their back catalog while enjoying their 2010 release, Transference. I liked Spoon. I never loved them.

I think I do now. This album hit right as I was ready for something new. Every few months I sample the Metacritc best albums of the year, looking for new things. After about 10 albums, I had almost written this year off as one where nothing blows me away. I’m still listening to last year’s stuff, to be honest. But that’s no good. I need some new. I can’t come on here and talk about how that Vampire Weekend album remains incredible. Oh hell, I just did. Anyways, Spoon.

They Want My Soul starts catchy with “Rent I Pay”. A great riff and that jangliness typical of Spoon, but there’s a harder edge here. There’s some grit.

But then, a staccato piano riff over a slower song that is nothing short of beautiful. Here they are performing Inside Out on Jimmy Fallon backstage with just a piano. I’ve watched this ten times.

From there, it continues. My favorite track is #3, Rainy Taxi. If you want a song to define the band, to me it’s probably this one. It doesn’t sound like the sing-songy early days, or an older band who’s trying to hard. Rainy Taxi sounds like a band who is confident in their sound and place in the world.

The rest of the album equals this. I get a little tired of some of the repetition of Knock Knock Knock and Do You, and the last song New York Kiss sounds like they are saying “New York Kicks” to me, which in some ways would be better. But Outlier and the title track, They Want My Soul, are peerless.

That’s the kind of music I need to obsess over, if I’m going to do it. That’s the kind of thing I don’t mind burying my ears in. Listen to the new Spoon. You’ll be better for it.

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