Spoon - Hot Thoughts
Spoon are a band who evolve in increments rather than leaps and bounds. They will release an album vanish for awhile and return with something adding just enough to make them sound fantastic. Hot Thoughts builds on 2014's They Want My Soul bringing in electronic elements and playing styles. I have been hyper critical of indie rock throughout this blog as it slowly seems to be getting worse and worse. However I have to eat my words with this record because it is very distinctly Indie Rock, but also something totally different. You'll notice right away that the drums have taken a form almost closer to hip hop with their beat and on songs like "Do I Have to Talk You Into It" Britt Daniel's delivery is so influenced by the Hip Hop genre. However you don't get the sense that Spoon are in any way trying to latch on to something or really shift perception. They want to use what sounds good and play music that they are excited about regardless of what genre that means they dip into. "Pick Up" has very light vocals and thus the song becomes almost a House Music jam. Most jam bands of jams on record are so hard to get through, but this track in particular feels more dialed in and tight. They aren't just fucking around, they have a direction and a point with the song and they nail it damn near perfectly. Even though the song is almost six minutes long you never feel any drag, it just gets better and better.
You would expect the high tempo and high energy to push through until the end of the record but Spoon also take some space on tracks like "I Ain't the One". While you expect this slow down to really derail the record it just adds another dimension to what is already an incredibly complex album. The second half of the record does have the band taking wider swings, some of which hit and others not so much. "Tear it Down" goes for this anthemic quality, but never really reaches any kind of place where you want to scream your guts out along, but "Shotgun" has this great almost Talking Heads beat that is so very infectious. The album closer "Us" is more ethereal and experimental with haunting distant saxophones, it is an abrupt ending to an otherwise fantastic record. What Spoon have done is show just how gracefully and effortlessly they can evolve. Hot Thoughts is a chance for all the Indie-Rock diehards to finally stretch their legs into some electronic music, and Spoon are setting an example of being open that we all should follow.
8.8 out of 10