A misty cloud hovers above a woman’s open hand on Spoon’s newest album cover, presumably representing the band’s self-proclaimed highly coveted soul. Spoon may be weary of allowing “street preachers” or “educated folk singers” access to this entity (as evidenced by title track “They Want My Soul”), but the level of work and production that went into creating They Want My Soul will make listeners feel like the band actually did give us all of themselves in their eighth studio album.
“Rent I Pay” is a catchy leadoff song that does not, in fact, have to do with your off-campus housing costs. The track’s focus definitely lands on the chorus, but it opens the rest of the album to become even more interesting.
Based off of the next song, “Inside Out,” Spoon demonstrates early on that the record will jump around between styles, yet their ability to retain a cohesive set is impressive. The song not only boasts thought-provoking lyrics, but it also utilizes memorable alternating keys that sound similar to a wind chime’s soothing presence.
All of the tracks deserve mentioning, but one of the most striking ones comes almost halfway through. “Knock Knock Knock” begins with a very unique strumming of the guitar that continues throughout, coupled with a genuine story and unique chorus.
“Every day, [he hears] knock knock knock,” which thankfully isn’t in reference to his RA. The song is about a woman who has let him down in love, and it documents his descent into instability as he constantly thinks about her and he can’t “blame nobody but [her].”
The production matches his volatility with randomly, yet skillfully, placed noises of disruption after the first chorus. Furthermore, the lead singer eventually fades into a bit of a maniacal whisper at some point during the stunningly well-made track.
With numerous present-day albums containing 12 or more songs, often reaching the one hour mark, Spoon’s mere 37 minutes and 29 seconds exemplify their focus on quality over quantity. Songs from the record never overstay their welcome and constantly invite their audience to come back for another listen.
Spoon will be visiting us for Boston Calling in September, and with one of the best alternative rock albums of the summer, their performance will be one that you won’t want to miss.