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Spoon – Transference
January 18, 2010

Spoon changes directions on “Transference”. The directness and polished beauty from “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” is traded in for a more complex, but clever, rough-around-the-edges kind of indierock. It doesn’t heavily rely on pop hooks, catchy riffs or insistent grooves, though there is some of that throughout the record. No, the album delves more into a corner that draws in the fans because they are intrigued by the deeper layers and the mysterious sounding music.

“Transference” is a strong record, but it will not get the same commercial success as its predecessor. The Mystery Zone has a way of nestling itself in your head. It doesn’t really stick with you right away, but a few hours after you listened to the record you seem to suddenly recall the track. The balladry on the piano song Goodnight Laura is drenched in emotion and sensitivity, and Trouble Comes Running has a kind of groovy 60s rock sound to it. These are probably some of the standout songs on the album.

But I think it’s best to listen to this album in its entirety. See it as an album rather than a combination of songs. The album has a natural order, and feels organic, despite its complex and layered nature. And musically it is air tight. Spoon is a good band, an excellent band even, and while “Transference” might not be their most accessible album, and maybe not even their best album, it still is an effort of the highest quality. Opening up to this album may not be real easy, but in the end the effort you put into it is more than worth it.

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