"Transference" by Spoon

Spoon
Transference

Merge Records
2010

Review

Spoon is back with another helping (sorry, I couldn't help it) of great Rock N' Roll music for you to enjoy - a helping that is free of gimmicks, tricks, marketing spins, image enhancements, popular trends, or costumes made of Kermit the Frog dolls.

I guess you would call this "indie rock" but I think this is just more straight up Rock N' Roll. I don't mean Rock as in Alternative Rock or Radio Rock, I mean like the evolution of what Rock was in the late 50'5 and on through the 60's. There's really not much trickery going here and sure there are electric guitars but the wah-wahs and the distortion pedals are nowhere to be found. I put Spoon on the Blues side of the same Rock island that Wilco comes from. Listen to "Trouble Comes Running". I think that literally Spoon got into a time machine, went back to the 60's, recorded the song and put it in a time capsule for inclusion of this album. Ditto for "Out Go the Lights".

It all starts with Britt Daniel's bluesy singing voice and is followed up with excellent songwriting and simple yet interesting arrangements. One of my favorite songs on the album - "Before Destruction" is probably the simplest one. It's hard to say why I love this song so much. There something about Britt Daniel's voice that makes the sparse song work. I mean it starts out sounding like a demo before giving way to something...well, else. Not polished exactly, but the sort of song you would want to hear in a cozy venue during a rainstorm.

For evidence of the previously mentioned blues influence, look no further than "Written In Reverse"

There's something almost meloncholic about even the most peppy of Spoon tracks, and I think "Mystery Zone" is a good example of that. I mean the song seems to be about imagining yourself in a better place but it sounds almost happy. The band sounds great, layering in everything perfectly.

For Spoon fanatics, I think Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga was a better overall album. But that's like saying Vanilla Ice-Cream is better than Chocolate. This is very, very good Rock N' Roll record with no trickery, no gimmicks, no marketing to demographics, just plain old good music.

4.273 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. Before Destruction (03:17) 5
2. Is Love Forever? (02:07) 3
3. The Mystery Zone (04:59) 5
4. Who Makes Your Money (03:44) 4
5. Written in Reverse (04:18) 5
6. I Saw the Light (05:32) 5
7. Trouble Comes Running (03:05) 5
8. Goodnight Laura (02:28) 3
9. Out Go the Lights (04:36) 5
10. Got Nuffin (03:58) 4
11. Nobody Gets Me but You (04:56) 3