Spoon – Transference (Merge)
Here is our real-time review of our first impression of Spoon’s seventh album. Enjoy.
[13:18] Jake: heard the new spoon?
[13:19] Phil: I have not!
[13:19] Jake: me neither
[13:19] Phil: Plugging in now
[13:20] Jake: queued up
[13:20] Phil: Yeah, I am playing now
[13:20] Jake: me too now
[13:21] Phil: First song is surprisingly lo-fi, even for Spoon
[13:21] Jake: wow. vocals sound like they’re recorded in a living room
[13:21] Jake: acoustic guitar too
[13:22] Phil: Probably were. I know they used first takes and demos quite a bit on this album
[13:22] Jake: oh, there’s the fidelity
[13:22] Jake: wow, those organs and bg vocals sound druggy
[13:22] Phil: I dig that creepy organ. I am pretty sure it’s the same one my grandma had
[13:22] Phil: cue the Samba beat!
[13:24] Jake: i like this. but i think it sounds intentionally obtuse.
[13:24] Phil: Yes, like their earlier albums
[13:24] Phil: before Girls Can Tell or Kill the Moonlight
Is Love Forever?
[13:25] Jake: this one’s a little catchier, but still f-ed up.
[13:25] Jake: i like it
[13:25] Jake: when i saw them live last year (or whenever), their sound guy was doing all kinds of crazy ass dub shit
[13:25] Phil: I’m surprised because I know you’ve had an issue with the songs not being there enough to make up for the lack of production
[13:25] Jake: this is cool though. seems more full.
[13:25] Jake: there’s lots of texture.
[13:26] Phil: I think you need to revisit Kill the Moonlight and Girls Can Tell then
[13:26] Jake: it’s all about the organ and that extra layer of acoustic guitars.
[13:26] Phil: Ha, ok. I can see that
The Mystery Zone
[13:27] Jake: are those “10cc” keyboards?
[13:27] Jake: or actual voices?
[13:27] Phil: Hmmm…could be a Chamberlain
[13:27] Jake: creeping me out…in a good way.
[13:27] Phil: keyboard with actual tape loops of violins and voices
[13:28] Jake: i’m digging this so far.
[13:28] Phil: Oh yeah. Jay Bennett had one
[13:28] Phil: I’ll let Brit know you approve next time I see him at the Doug Fir (probably this weekend)
[13:28] Jake: ha
[13:28] Phil: Yes, I am a big fan so this is right up my alley
[13:28] Jake: different from a mellotron?
[13:29] Jake: i think i am going to have to revisit those earlier albums
[13:29] Phil: Yes, you are
[13:29] Phil: I love those albums
[13:29] Phil: “Small Stakes” is one of my all-time favorite songs
[13:29] Jake: this is really good.
[13:29] Phil: There you go! You are now a Spoon fan!
[13:29] Phil: Next up: Radiohead
[13:30] Jake: i have been since ga ga ga ga.
[13:30] Jake: openly
[13:30] Phil: Ha
[13:30] Phil: “Openly”
[13:30] Phil: I like that
[13:30] Jake: i was dubious before
[13:30] Phil: Loftus turned me on to Spoon around Girls Can Tell
[13:31] Phil: Chamberlin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamberlin
[13:31] Phil: related to Mellotron
[13:31] Jake: ok
Who Makes Your Money
[13:32] Phil: Seriously, if you like this then you need to go back to those other albums
[13:32] Phil: cut from the same cloth
[13:32] Jake: i will.
[13:32] Jake: this song’s just ok. some interesting stuff going on. but not enough.
[13:33] Phil: I dig that vibrato on the vocals though
[13:33] Jake: hurdy gurdy man!
[13:34] Jake: i like that middle part
[13:34] Jake: was this produced by scratch perry?
[13:34] Jake: they love those crazy effects on the vocals
[13:35] Phil: Produced by Spoon
[13:35] Jake: i was just kidding
[13:35] Phil: Yeah, but I was clarifying
[13:35] Phil: I had to look it up
[13:35] Phil: to see ifn they did work with a producer this time around
Written in Reverse
[13:36] Phil: I like screaming
[13:36] Phil: in pop music
[13:36] Phil: not that crazy shit in metal
[13:36] Jake: yes
[13:36] Jake: paul mccartney
[13:36] Phil: right
[13:37] Jake: i also like the “single note” piano line
[13:37] Phil: abso
[13:37] Jake: this is good.
[13:37] Phil: Yeah, this is a BUY album
[13:37] Jake: very beatley. 1968 paul.
[13:38] Phil: ‘zactly
[13:38] Phil: I love that sound
[13:38] Jake: badass guitar tone
[13:38] Jake: fat bass
[13:38] Phil: great guitar tones (as always)
[13:38] Jake: nice
[13:38] Jake: sloppy coda.
[13:39] Jake: i like that. like an afterthought.
[13:39] Jake: “hey, wait, i’m not done yet.”
[13:39] Phil: Like “Dreamer of My Dreams”
[13:39] Jake: totally
[13:39] Phil: “One more time!”
[13:39] Jake: even laughs at the end!
I Saw the Light
[13:40] Jake: “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” has sold 318,000 to date: http://www.billboard.com/events/spoon-kicking-off-transference-tour-at-sxsw-1004058332.story
[13:40] Phil: Hmmm…
[13:40] Jake: that’s a lot for an indie album.
[13:41] Phil: Yeah
[13:41] Jake: bummed they’re playing the aragon here.
[13:41] Jake: that place sucks.
[13:41] Jake: too big.
[13:41] Phil: Oh yeah
[13:42] Jake: crappy sound.
[13:42] Phil: I saw them at the Abbey
[13:42] Phil: it was awesome…and hot
[13:42] Jake: yeah.
[13:42] Phil: I almost passed out
[13:42] Jake: perfect
[13:42] Phil: but it was appropriately crowded and crazy
[13:42] Phil: Aragon is not so much fun
[13:43] Phil: You could go see them at the Royal Oak Theater in Detroit
[13:43] Phil: Maybe buy a guitar before the show
[13:43] Jake: ha.
[13:44] Jake: instrumentals are filler as far as i’m concerned.
[13:44] Phil: Shit! Two Seattle dates and none in Portland
Trouble Comes Running
[13:45] Phil: Garage Rock!
[13:45] Jake: that’s a lo-fi guitar part over in my left ear
[13:46] Phil: “Here it come running again…”
[13:46] Phil: Is this a Vantrells song?
[13:46] Jake: “are you pickin’ up what i’m puttin’ down?”
[13:46] Jake: yes i am.
[13:46] Phil: Maybe Twister…who am I trying to fool?
[13:47] Jake: pre-Matt Vantrell. no lead guitar.
[13:47] Phil: Ha, right
[13:47] Phil: Some of this could have been recorded on a Tascam 424
[13:48] Jake: a piano ballad
[13:49] Phil: Yes
[13:49] Jake: not a lot going on here.
[13:49] Jake: kinda pretty i guess
[13:49] Phil: A break
[13:50] Phil: Uh oh, let’s not get soft in the middle!
Out Go the Lights
[13:50] Phil: Mid-tempo
[13:51] Jake: front loaded
[13:51] Phil: Well, we have 15 minutes to go…
[13:51] Phil: might just be a mid-album lull
[13:51] Jake: here’s johnny’s 2002 piece from that abbey pub show: https://gloriousnoise.com/articles/2002/spooning_on_a_sunday_night.php
[13:51] Phil: Oh, great!
[13:54] Jake: those comments are awesome.
[13:54] Phil: Reading now
[13:54] Phil: ha
[13:54] Jake: “Nu Order” is brilliant.
[13:55] Jake: i know this song. bought the single.
[13:55] Phil: Yep
[13:55] Phil: here it is again
[13:55] Jake: it’s good.
[13:56] Jake: man, i listened to “ga ga ga ga ga” so much that year that H was a baby.
[13:56] Phil: Interesting that they’ve gone back to this style
[13:56] Phil: driven by the rhythm section with guitar bursts
[13:57] Jake: did you think “ga ga ga” was a big departure?
[13:57] Phil: I don’t think any of them are big departures, but songs like “Cherry Bomb” don’t really show up on anything else
[13:57] Phil: that kind of production
[13:58] Jake: yeah
[13:58] Jake: “The Underdog” was a big production number, but the other stuff sounds like this stuff
[13:58] Jake: gimme fiction was their emotional rescue
[13:58] Phil: Ha, I was thinking the same thing
[13:58] Phil: mixed with Eddie Grant
Nobody Gets Me But You
[13:58] Phil: I want to go roller skating
[13:59] Jake: speaking of eddie grant…
[13:59] Phil: I need to wash my Lee jeans
[14:01] Jake: yeah, front loaded.
[14:02] Jake: still though
[14:02] Phil: A bit, yeah
[14:02] Jake: i am not disappointed
[14:02] Phil: Oh no. The first half is tight
[14:03] Phil: These songs are OK, even
[14:03] Phil: just not as strong
[14:03] Jake: strange that they’re not anything to promote
[14:03] Jake: merge hasn’t even released promos.
[14:03] Jake: no videos, no promo mp3
[14:03] Phil: Huh
[14:04] Jake: no quirky social media gimmicks
[14:04] Phil: that we know of!
[14:04] Jake: ha
[14:04] Jake: we’d know.
[14:04] Phil: and weird closing to the album
[14:04] Jake: yeah
[14:04] Phil: OK, well, that’s it…
[14:05] Jake: but solid for sure. bet it gets better with repeated listens too
[14:05] Phil: In short: a front-loaded slight return with some real dirt-under-the-fingernails production and creepy organs. I like it.
[14:06] Jake: yeah, i’m excited to pick this up.
[14:06] Phil: Indeed
[14:06] Jake: i bet it sounds better in the air
Video: Spoon interviews mastering engineer Howie Weinberg
Spoon: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki
3 thoughts on “Spoon – Transference”
Watch in real time as Jake embraces his Spoon fandom. Now he’s a real boy!
Best review ever.
This is an awesome approach to a review. Like the ever so popular “unwrapping” videos.