For the past two decades, Spoon have remained one of the most reliably consistent indie-rock bands in the country, releasing sturdy collections of well-crafted pop-rock originals every few years. After releasing their predictably solid album They Want My Soul in 2014, the band is back with the much more adventurous and playful Hot Thoughts. Spoon’s 9th record trades in the band’s penchant for riffs and melody for dance grooves and rhythms, incorporating heavy elements of funk, jazz, New Wave, and R&B.
Inspired in part by a newly streamlined lineup (this is Spoon’s first album without Eric Harvey in more than a decade), this 10-song collection is dominated less by taut rhythm guitar than by synths, handclaps, and kickdrums. “Pink Up” and “Us” end each album side with exploratory jazz-trance instrumentals, while the funk-stomp of “Can I Sit Next to You” and the piano Britpop of “Tear It Down” split the difference between Prince and Bowie. “Let them build a wall around us / I don’t care I’m gonna tear it down,” lead singer Britt Daniel sings on the latter, transforming a popular protest refrain from the past few months into a triumphant, danceable call to arms. It’s an elegant statement from a band that never gets sick of adding tools to its bag of tricks.
“I’m just lookin’ for some sign of life,” Daniel pleads on this classic Spoon synth-rock slowburner.
“Can I Sit Next To You”
Daniel channels his inner Prince as he searches for sexual redemption under the Tennessee skies.