Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"Transference" is Spoon at their best.

Spoon adds another first-class release to their brilliant discography with “Transference.”

Almost three years after the release of the critically acclaimed “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga,” Spoon begins the decade with a rougher and grittier release.

“Transference” was self-produced and is reminiscent of their first record, 1996’s “Telephono.” The music on the new album is more raw rock ‘n‘ roll.

The first single, “Got Nuffin,” released six months prior to the album, was the first implication of the album’s rawness.

Spoon remains in top form despite the fact that most of the songs are mostly in their demo form.

The complexity of the music on “Transference” is created through the careful construction of the songs, not the glossing over in the studio.

Britt Daniel, the lead singer, once again demonstrates his skills in writing songs. The roughness in the songs emits a higher emotional resonance.

“Written in Reverse” is one of the more aggressive songs. It begins with the lines, “I’m writing this to you in reverse, someone better call a hearse.”

Daniel snarls and yells about a declining relationship over a pounding piano and an unsteady beat.

The lack of studio buff works best on the piano ballad, “Goodnight Laura,” revealing a more tender and delicate side to the album.

Emotions run high as Daniel croons a loved one to sleep. The intimacy of the performance amplifies its effect, similar to the impact of a child’s lullaby sung before bed time.

Piano chords are pressed methodically against a building rhythm on the second half of track six, “I Saw the Light.”

This is Spoon at their best, rationalizing during a jam session. No notes are wasted and every instrument is utilized efficiently.

All these abilities would go to waste if the songs themselves were not good. Even the more difficult songs are filled with plenty of hooks and grooves here to please rock and pop fans.

Transference is one of those albums that should be listened to a few times before passing judgment. However, it is a testament to one of the best bands of the 2000s and their skills in consistently producing great albums.

-James Vu

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