Album: They Want My Soul
Album Reviewer: Michael Mariscal
Nothing is more exciting as an avid music consumer than hearing something that sounds different. Whether from a new instrument, effect, or approach, I need something new to engage with. In Spoon’s new album They Want My Soul, there’s plenty of unique sounds and styles to hold my attention.
Some of them exist within the foundation of the song, like in the effects done onto the prominent, fueling drum beats of Knock Knock Knock and Inside Out. Others exist in color, like in the hoarse voice of singer Britt Daniel or clashing notes of the piano on I Just Don’t Understand.
But the best features of the album are the ones that go as quickly as they come. A quintessential example comes in Knock Knock Knock, where an incredibly abrasive guitar “solo” takes over the song for no more than 5 seconds, where it is then taken over by the crescendo of strings that no one in their right mind would have thought to try. And that’s it. Another one of these moments comes in a truly mind-blowing solo in title track They Want My Soul, where a guitar plucks only one note, but each pluck comes from the right or left headphone, in a rhythm that makes it one of the best moments of the album.
The pitfalls of this album are few and far between. The most prominent one comes from the drums, which never seem to stray from their straight rock beat. It’s not a big deal in itself, as it almost always fits the song well, generally allowing for the interesting effects and sounds that make this album good. My problem is that it’s indicative of a larger flaw in the songs. If a straight rock beat is the right pick for every single one of your songs, your songs could use a bit more diversity in their foundation.
Overall, this is a truly excellent album, accessible enough for anyone to add to their collection while still providing a lot for music critics to love. I give it a 4.