4 out of 5
Produced by: Dave Fridmann
It’s universally accepted / known by now that Spoon are the kings of pop, yes? Across a million (…nine) albums and two decades, they’ve had harder and softer edges and more danceyness or shimmy here and there, but amazingly, the dedication to entire albums’ worth of memorable singles has never declined, nor has the group’s ability to innovate on their slightly glam / slightly trashy rock sensibilities to deliver consistently rewarding variations of hooks. Its almost pathetic for other bands who would strike a similar pose and only make it through barely an album before starting to take abortive chances on unhelpful enhancements to their sound. Not that Spoon hasn’t changed (well elucidated in the Allmusic review), just that the toe-tappability has always come first.
And, sure: On occasion this has resulted in sort of happy-go-lucky tracks. Hot Thoughts, though, continues the somewhat more contemplative lyric slinging of Transference, married to Dave Fridmann’s rich production, which allows Spoon to fully blend their riffage with harmonies, keys and gloss (Pink Up; the soulful I Ain’t the One) without once losing their reliable catchiness, and the delightful edge of Britt Daniel’s vocals. The sequencing here perfectly floats between tighter guitar-driven singles and slightly more paced, emotional fare, before sort of being rudely halted by the questionably open-ended closer Us, the horns and hazy atmosphere of which sonorously don’t really sync up with the rest of the disc.
But hey – they tossed it on the end there, so you get nine ridiculously solid tracks before that as buffer.
Spoon continues to defy belief by delivering another fresh-as-ever disc decades after they first made their mark.