They Want My Soul

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September 24, 2014 at 04:00 AM EDT

”You’re gonna take another chunk of me with you when you go,” Britt Daniel snarls on ”Let Me Be Mine,” the pulsing penultimate track on Spoon’s latest. Rarely does someone manage to sound so defeated while being so indefatigable. But then, Daniel & Co. have been pulling it off for more than 20 years now. Their best songs tend to grab you for either a kiss on the mouth or a slap in the face; eight albums in, the band loosens its grip just a little. There are casual stunners like ”Rent I Pay” and ”Do You” — the kinds of effortless spurts of stomping indie and slurry R&B that have come to define the group. But Soul‘s got some new tricks, too, mainly a subtle but noticeable shift toward smoother, keyboard-heavy pop. Unfortunately, not every track leaves a mark. No matter: When a band like Spoon is offering any chunk of itself, you take whatever you can get. B+

They Want My Soul

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They Want My Soul

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