Spoon - Hot Thoughts
Spoon have managed to hold onto a career that has seen them with various lineup and styles, for over 20 years. And that's something that can't be ignored in these sad old days for indie bands, especially without a hit single or without being a household name outside North America. They have slowly been gathering momentum and releasing increasingly better albums up to their peak with 2007's Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga and since then they rarely release an album that hasn't met with critical acclaim.
Hot Thoughts is the band's ninth album and has the same added electronic sensibilities as 2014's They Want My Soul. Britt Daniels and co (though now without Eric Harvey, who left after 13 years in 2015) have created their finest album for a decade. There is more scope and creativity which have been missing for the last couple of albums that relied too heavily on a repetitive groove.Hot Thoughts brings the melody back to Spoon, 'First Caress' and 'Do I Have To Talk You Into It' have the classic jerky- new wave arrangements that Daniels loves to write, with an added production (by Dave Fridmann) that is reminiscent of Hot Chip.
The record isn't without a few surprises and as soon as we are getting into the swing of things, the album takes a sudden turn with the epic 'Pink Up' which sounds like the band wanted to include as many instruments as they could during the six minute think-piece. From here on Hot Thoughts is no longer a breeze to endure. There are elements of jazz and Asian motifs that no one would have expected, though after a few spins the songs begin to unravel into something worthwhile. It is like the band realised they could be writing a pop-record and quickly panicked and spent the second half of the album having some self-indulgent fun, in a similar fashion as David Bowie's Low and Brian Eno himself would have certainly approved of the final track 'Us'.
Their ninth album is one of the most exciting new records of the year so far and this will probably keep Spoon's report card as gleaming as ever. If Talking Heads were still making records then this is how they would sound though they will undoubtedly not be appearing at any festivals or on any television sets this side of the Atlantic. They may just be saving their greatest album for the big 1 0.