20 Watts


20 Watts Reviews Spoon’s Transference by tjwell01

It's not the same old Spoon sound, but it's still Spoon.

PREVIEW: VISIT Spoon’s MySpace

WE GIVE IT: 12/20 Watts

It’s not hard to talk about Spoon in regards to the godfathers of indie rock, a la Neutral Milk Hotel, not only because they’re consistent and tight, but because they’re timeless knockouts. That said, Transference lacks the extra gear and playfulness that Spoon fans loved in Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (2007) or even in Gimme Fiction (2005).

The album still has Britt Daniels’ irresistible transfixing voice and some grilling guitar chords like in “Got Nuffin,” but the album as a whole seems committed to a slower, more neutral sound that we’re not normally accustomed to. That’s not to say it doesn’t work–it does–but it leaves the listener (at least me) wanting more heart like in previous great slow hits like “Black like Me.”

“The Mystery Zone” re-captures some of the missing zip that Spoon normally shows off, but it doesn’t really compensate for the lack of experimentation in the rest of the album. There’s not one song on the album I could call a “single” either, but at least the album still sounds consistent and steady from track-to-track (not in a dull way). If this album belonged to any other band, I’d give it the benefit of the doubt, but since it’s Spoon we’re talking about, I’m forced to hold them to a higher standard–out of complete respect and admiration.

I’d call the album a miss, but there’s no doubt in my mind this band can rebound mastefully.

–Jett Wells

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