You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Review: Spoon's 'Hot Thoughts' is raw, sinewy, danceable

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/14/2017 By PABLO GORONDI, Associated Press
This cover image released by Matador Records shows "Hot Thoughts," the latest release by Spoon. (Matador Records via AP) © The Associated Press This cover image released by Matador Records shows "Hot Thoughts," the latest release by Spoon. (Matador Records via AP)

Spoon, "Hot Thoughts" (Matador Records)

Spoon's "Hot Thoughts" is raw, sinewy and often danceable, the band charging into its ninth album with a cruder and more experimental approach.

Helmed by producer Dave Fridmann (Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips), instruments hardly sound the same from track to track but blend seamlessly, expanding into a wide space that rocks in a modern way while respecting valuable traditions — solid grooves and an economy of arrangements.

"Hot Thoughts" leans heavily on '70s dance vibes and Alex Fischel's wide array of keyboards. "Do I Have to Talk You Into It" features a dryly reverberating, John Bonham-like snare played by Jim Eno as the distortion on fellow founding member Britt Daniel's voice underlines the exasperation of "feeling cut off from everyone."

"I Ain't the One" features a Prince drum sound and bursts of vocal harmonies that accentuate the loneliness of someone who may have been a contender but has little of anything left to draw from. Rob Pope's bass propels "Shotgun," which sounds like a harsher twin of Kiss' "I Was Made for Loving You," a bad-boy memoir with violence tempered by concerns over health insurance.

Closer instrumental "Us" revisits a few bars of a previous track, "Pink Up," and opens with saxophones passing in the night, seemingly too close to ensure a safe journey. Cooperation improves as the tune's five minutes near their end but there's no escaping a disquieting, anxious sensation.

Spoon reaffirms its merits while stretching its comfort zone — and yours.

AdChoices
AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon