Spoon - Transference (Cover Artwork)


Spoon: TransferenceTransference (2010)
Merge Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: Mrdogg45Mrdogg45
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Spoon is a relentlessly cool band. Its songs are groovy affairs. Listening to them is like dancing with a mysterious stranger who moves with a confidence both seductive and dangerous. It is not hard to imagine everyone in the band wearing leather jackets and sunglasses at all times, cigarettes dangl.
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Spoon is a relentlessly cool band. Its songs are groovy affairs. Listening to them is like dancing with a mysterious stranger who moves with a confidence both seductive and dangerous. It is not hard to imagine everyone in the band wearing leather jackets and sunglasses at all times, cigarettes dangling uncommitted from their expressionless faces as they casually walk to the next party, fully aware that all eyes are on them but making no notice of the attention.

Here's the thing about cool, though: It don't keep you warm at night. Sure, everyone wants to be cool, but man cannot live on cool alone, you know? Man needs soul, man needs something more substantial, less detached, more true to that intangible, indescribable core of human nature that gives power to the pop songs that can move people--change people.

Spoon is occasionally capable of achieving this zen-like level of pop mastery while maintaining their aloof, Fonzie-esque aesthetic. Their last full-length, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, an album so dripping with effortless perfection on a song-by-song level that it almost seemed like the band wasn't even trying, was a modern classic that could stand both as a touchstone of modern hipness and a piece of near-flawless alternative for the stadium-minded.

Transference, however, is not so much a cosmic success as it is a cool fucking album. So, if you were looking for another car-ride life changer this time around, you'll be let down.

Still, there's nothing wrong with a good headphones album, and this album is certainly that. There is a lot to take in, from the echo-y bass-and-piano grove of "Mystery Zone" to the meandering, jammy guitar of "I Saw the Light." Production-wise, the band is back on their studio experimentation BS (à la 2002's Kill the Moonlight), focusing less on rocking like a hurricane and more on layering their rock songs with as much cool shit as they can think of.

It makes for an interesting listen, no doubt, but a more detached one, as the band wants to keep the listener at arms length instead of fully drawing them in for the big rock and roll bear hug.

There is one track that bridges the gap between studio knob-fiddling and full on emotional rocking, however, and that song is "Trouble Comes Running." "Trouble Comes Running" is fucking awesome. It's a quiet little rocker with a goofy mix, so the guitar is pushed higher than the rest of the song and the drums are kind of lo-fi and canned. All this means is that the song sounds interesting as well as emotionally satisfying.

Transference doesn't swing for the fences and it doesn't strive to capture anyone's heart. It is fine to be another solid addition to an already solid (and occasionally perfect) catalog of mercilessly cool music. Get your sunglasses on, motherfucker.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Spooky (April 22, 2010)

This album is the absolute shit. Like'em all but "The Mystery Zone, Trouble Comes Running" and "Is Love Forever?" are so damn good!

NYblowhards (February 8, 2010)

i saw these guys on conan's like 2nd to last show.

i thought spoon was a black singer or maybe there's a guy like that, too

it was good music. several weeks ago.

greg0rb (February 3, 2010)

You're right about Trouble Comes Running being the shit. I love how the drums are totally on the left side like an old stones or beatles record. Wouldn't want it for a whole album, but kickass for one song.

Cos (February 3, 2010)

I'm coming around to this album, just like I have with every single other Spoon album--one or two songs grab you immediately and the rest worm their way into your heart over time. Its not as poppy as the last one but its still pretty good, verging on great (maybe). We'll see.

But now that the Soft Pack album is out, this thing has some serious competition.

supertomato (February 3, 2010)

this album is the total jam.
i believe it was self-produced and it sounds amazing.
WAY more engaging that other modern indie rock
brit daniels really can turn a phrase.
5 stars!!

kidgotham (February 3, 2010)

While I am somewhat letdown by the new album, it is still lightyears better then most indie rock being produced these days.

alpod4 (February 3, 2010)

5 stars for the opening paragraph. that is absolutely how i imagine spoon

d_boons_ghost (February 2, 2010)

i-type-poorly, if you'd bothered listening to "Transference" you'd know it's completely unlike anything they've ever made. It's not a great album but it has me really excited to see what they're going to do next. Spoon's probably one of the best rock bands out there.

i-type-poorly (February 2, 2010)

Incredibly boring. They've been making the same album for ten years.

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