Our favourite group of American rockers are back with album number eight, and boy is it a cracker. Spoon have once again delivered an addictive combination of poppy rock sprinkled with piano riffs and a cheeky dash of harp. This album is a reminder that Spoon aren’t going anywhere for a while.
The first two songs on the album are among my favourites. ‘Do You’ and ‘I Just Don’t Understand’ make for a strong opening. ‘Do You’ has a beat like a freight train. Crunchy guitar riffs and solos keep things interesting and the chorus is uplifting and melodic. ‘I Just Don’t Understand’ is a little reminiscent of their track ‘The Way We Get By’ from way back in the days of the OC. The high, jilting, funky piano solo, combined with the angst of Britt Daniels vocals is just splendid.
‘Let Me Be Mine’ is another pick of the album. The lyrics “auction off what you love, it will come back some time” are thought provoking and relatable, demonstrating that Spoon are more than just great instrumentalists, but true artists.
‘Knock Knock Knock’ is one of the more forgettable songs on the album. It stays a little too slow for a little too long and is easy to skip. The same goes for ‘New York Kiss.’ The introduction tries out some electronic sounds and although it is good to see Spoon trying out something different, in this case it’s a little poppy for my liking.
‘Outlier’ picks up where ‘Let Me Be Mine’ takes off, fading in slowly and building anticipation. It’s a bit heavier than what we usually get from Spoon while the instrumentals are clever and inventive, making for a great tune.
‘Rainy Taxi’ is an emotionally powerful song. The long instrumental at the start is innovative and interesting; the piano and guitar complementing one another. Later in the song the solos sound like the band are simply mucking around and having fun. The lyrics in this song are notable, painting the song as a tragic love story: “If you leave you better run away for good.” The falsetto of the vocals adds another layer of emotion. I didn’t want this track to end.
‘Rent I Pay’ is lazy, cool, old school rock. This is a song where you can hear a definite influence from The Rolling Stones.
Despite being the title track, ‘They Want My Soul’ was not a stand out for me, not providing anything to make it stand out from an otherwise strong album.
‘Inside Out’ has a similar vibe to ‘I Turn My Camera On’ with it’s plonking, steady groove. The repetition of the lyrics ‘there’s intense gravity’ gives the song a spacey feel. Spoon can be heard playing around with new instruments in this song as well, with the use of the harp and synthesizer. This song is a great mood setter and good track to end the album on.
They Want My Soul is an album that demonstrates just how experienced Spoon are as a band, individual musicians and songwriters. They have produced some fantastic tracks that show growth and experimentation while remaining committed to their signature sound.
They Want My Soul is available now from iTunes, with thanks to Spunk Records.