Spoon are a band still full of ideas 20-odd years later.
Released: 17th March 2017
For the past two decades, Spoon have been slowly tinkering away. The Austin rock stalwarts hit on a formula that worked pretty early on; combining earworm-worthy hooks with frontman Britt Daniel’s wry yet oddly seductive snarl.
But they never settled, constantly evolving and adapting with each new album. It’s never been a noticeable leap from album to album yet, over time, it’s seen them grow from strength to strength as artists.
Their ninth album, Hot Thoughts, is a continuation of this slow burn growth. While they may be back at Matador, the label that put out their 1996 debut, their sound is as far away from the Pixies-apeing Spoon of old as it possibly could be.
With Hot Thoughts, Spoon have expanded on the polished pop sheen of 2014’s ‘They Want My Soul’ and aimed for the dance floor. From the driving bass riff and pounding Pet Shop Boys beats of ‘Shotgun’ to the toe-tapping ‘First Caress’, which could birth a new generation of indie discos, the lines between Spoon as a pop or rock band are blurred more than ever.
Daniel’s infamous swagger is out in full force throughout Hot Thoughts. Cigarette in one hand, whisky on the rocks in the other, he slithers across tracks like ‘WhisperI’lllistentohearit’ and lead single ‘Hot Thoughts’ with that same confidence that has always marked him as Spoon’s secret weapon.
Luckily, Spoon are a band that know how to use their arsenal well. They are craftsmen that delight in the finer details and, noir jazz outlier ‘Us’ aside, not a moment here feels wasted. Full of those idiosyncratic moments that makes pulling apart each Spoon record a joy, Hot Thoughts is instantly recognisable yet enticingly new and shows that Spoon are a band still full of ideas 20-odd years later. Chris Taylor