Spoon

Transference (Merge)

More than once I've seen Spoon's seventh album mentioned with some Radiohead reference—a friend even liked it to In Rainbows, insisting Transference likewise takes some getting used to but, boy, does it warm up in a hurry. And, yes, now that you mention it, "Before Destruction" is awful cold to the touch—the Thom-Thom Club, so to speak. Then in stumbles "Is Love Forever" and, later, "Got Nuffin'," a new-wave herky-jerk that's gone Gang of Four but with the sharp edges sanded off. All the band lacks are the skinny ties and pegged pants, but hot damn.

And on and on and on it blessedly goes—Britt Daniel's record collection on full display (again), art-school funky ("Who Makes Your Money," which sounds like a Prince record that's been sitting on the dashboard in July) and Steely Dan ("Written in Reverse," please) and Exile-era Rolling Stones or even earlier Kinks ("Trouble Comes Running"), all filtered by the punk-pop-a-rock all white boys of a certain age are weaned on till they either pick up a guitar or become a rock critic or someone who still reads a rock critic.

The first listen was deceiving after all—what initially felt distant over time becomes as familiar as a memory. And if "Goodnight Laura" wasn't a hit in '75, seriously, don't tell my mom.

 
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