Words About Music
Spoon “They Want My Soul”
If you were to ask me: “Jakob, who is the best rock band of the past 20 years?” I’d probably say “Hmmm… Radiohead? No they’re more than a rock band… Umm… Queens of the Stone Age, maybe? Nope, you know what, I’ve got it. Spoon.” And anyone who’s ever listened to Spoon would agree. You know why? Because Spoon is the best rock band of the past 20 years. They’ve been cranking out album after album of likable, memorable, accessible pop rock songs since the mid-90s. Spoon is the band that Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, and Red Hot Chili Peppers all wish they could be. No band is as reliable as Spoon. Some could say this is due to a lack of experimentation, but I say that it’s because Spoon has tapped into a goldmine of excellent rock songs that lay just under the surface of mainstream appreciation. Going into their third decade as a band, Spoon shows no signs of slowing down or disappointing.
“They Want My Soul” is the band’s eighth—yes, eighth—album. Coming in at just short of 40 minutes, “They Want My Soul” is an easy, quick listen that seems universally likable and still exudes that sense of effortless cool that only frontman Britt Daniel seems capable of bringing to the table. The best part about this band is that all of its members know exactly what Spoon is and what it is capable of as a band. You’re not going to hear 10-minute freeform jazz explorations. Spoon isn’t going to put out an album of lo-fi atmospheric black metal. Spoon is a rock and roll band in its purest form. They don’t waste their time on writing riffs or delving into anything even remotely resembling pretentiousness.
There are ten songs on this album, which means ten potential hit summer singles. The band wisely went with songs like “Do You,” one of the catchiest songs the band has ever written, and “Inside Out,” a scientifically accurate track that compares romance to the space-time continuum. Again, Spoon’s music is nothing groundbreaking or life-changing. But it’s reliable, and when Foo Fighters puts out “Sonic Highways” in November only to disappoint legions of fans (you heard it here first), Spoon will be there to make it all better.
As I said previously, “They Want My Soul” probably isn’t going to change your life, especially if you’re familiar with Spoon’s music. If you like Spoon, you’re going to like this album. Britt Daniel’s voice is still in great shape. The songs are still short, smart, and simple. But the thing that makes Spoon so compelling is that there’s no false pretense here. They’ve certainly progressed since the early years, but not so drastically that you can say they’ve fallen off. As Spoon continues to exist (which I hope they will at least for another two albums or so) they continue to craft more-than-decent pop rock songs with fascinating instrumental choices. This album rocks because Spoon rocks, and it’s not perfect because Spoon isn’t perfect.
SCORE – 8.3
FAVORITE TRACKS – Inside Out, Rainy Taxi, Do You, Knock Knock Knock, Outlier, They Want My Soul, Let Me Be Mine, New York Kiss