Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Spoon A review in the rear view

"I got nothing to lose but darkness and shadows"

 Brit Daniel is a true musical futurist.  Any fan of Austin's seminal indie rock band can tell you, like wine it is really better with age.  You get the album initially and there are a few songs that will jump out but for some reason you can't quite get into it.  Come back a year later and it sounds fresh and on point.  Their last effort "Transference" is no exception. An album mixed with i pod ear buds in mind.  Sounds from no where invade pop structures, attempting to unsettle you, mirroring the lyrical content.   Wading through the myriad of sound you can get lost in the background.  It mirrors the world in which we find ourselves where screens are within screens and you can receive several emails, texts and phone calls at a given moment.  There is an unsettling feeling running through the album, voices telling you other things underneath, phrases and instruments cut off unexpectedly like a call with bad reception.  The thing is you don't notice it at first, everything seems normal.

The album begin with "Before Destruction" and we are left to wonder if the destruction being spoken of is whole scale or personal. "The Mystery Zone"could be about life after college; "All of the people you used to run into, but never do now," when everyone has retreated into the refuge of suburbia all weird for it's lack of weird.  The frustration in the voice in "Written in Reverse" could be seen as the counter to John Lennon's "Don't Let Me Down"  except the writer has been let down.   From this point things take a slightly different turn, the background noise is turned down and the songs move straight ahead.  "I Saw the Light"  attempts to make sense, at least until end, at which point the instruments goes someplace else.  "Trouble Comes Running" rocks us forward into the quiet reflections of "Good night Laura" and "Out Go the Lights".  All this leads to rock and roll super song "Got Nuffin", an anthem of positiveness to fight off the gloom. We then return back to the disorientation with the discombobulating sonic array of "Nobody Gets Me But You".
         As ever, Spoon is subtle in it's attack and multiple listens are required to really appreciate the understated genius of the work.  In this post-CD age, we are blessed that the music never goes out of stock and we can rediscover what we may have missed the first time around.  Check out their website Spoon for some free downloads and other Spoon related news.
Downloads and video.

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