In review: Transference

Story by Thom Fountain

Posted at 11:20 p.m. 2/8/10

Let me begin by saying I don’t listen to Spoon. It’s a travesty, I know. With that full disclosure out in the open, you may want to sit down for this next part. The Cold War Kids do it better.

Spoon’s newest album Transference, their seventh full-length, dabbles in the classic rock-inspired indie that has become popular in the last few years. The piano is clunky and slightly out of tune. The guitars wail with a tone straight from a 1970s biker bar. Even Britt Daniel’s melodies seem straight from another decade.

There’s nothing wrong with the same old, but I expected more from a band with such tenure in the indie rock world. The album is bland, with little in the form of twists or turns. In fact, outside of one song, “Out Go the Lights,” the album was barely memorable.

“Out Go the Lights” does seem to be an exception to the mediocre album. Its simple backbeat is reminiscent of The Smashing Pumpkins or The Strokes, but the guitars are unique and well placed. The extended instrumental outro provides something the rest of the album seems to lack: space.

I understand that Spoon has been a frontrunner in the world of indie music (some even argue they’re responsible for the indie boom at the beginning of this century). Unfortunately, that track record doesn’t help them on Transference.