Originally Posted by chronoaug
Brian: How is the new spoon album? I've been meaning to download it. They're one of the few hipster "indie rock" bands i still enjoy. I got into them with Girls can Tell and Kill the Moonlight but really didn't like Gimme Fiction all that much. The Arcade Fire is just one of those bands i recognize as being good and i do enjoy their music (i've only listened to the new album once though) but it's just not something that has stuck with me through the years. When i first heard Funeral back in 04, i thought it was going to become an instant classic for me and loved it to death for a month or two. I just don't reach for it very often since the first year though. I dunno.
The new Spoon album is very good, just another solid collection of songs to add to their catalog. It's more in the vein of Kill the Moonlight than Gimme Fiction (which I personally like the best of their last three records) in that it's (mostly) accessible, well-written rock songs, whereas Gimme Fiction was a bit more ambitious. Ga Ga... has a bit of a 50s/early 60s pop influence to it, which I think is really cool, and blends well with Britt Daniel's delivery. I must confess I'm unfamiliar with their work prior to Kill the Moonlight. I sort of had the same reaction to Funeral that you did, but so far I'm still loving it (I just heard it this spring, though). It has a level of quality from start to finish and a consistency of atmosphere that's rare in most of the records you pick up today and that I really appreciate. I don't reach for it often, either, but that's because it's one of those albums that I like to be able to listen to all the way through without stopping and devote my full attention to. It's not the kind of CD I'll leave in the car for a week, hearing bits and pieces along the way. I feel like it loses some impact when digested in such a way.
Originally Posted by whodini
I really liked "Black Swan" when it came out as a single in "A Scanner Darkly," but I had limited expectations for the album. I figured it would be along the lines of the HTTTF/Amnesiac electronica b-sides but it's really far better than that. "Harrowdown Hill" is probably the strongest song on the album in terms of melody and message. It all rather plays like what Radiohead would write to listen to while in a packed trendy club, and it sounds good. With all the machines buzzing and whirling from track to track it's easy to forget that Thom's guitar skill (never thought I'd say that...) is driving the whole damn show. Here's a great example of that in a stripped-down version of "The Clock": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1nFB-R-_gI
I had similar expectations, and actually avoided listening to it for almost a year after it came out just because I was afraid it would ruin my idolization of Thom Yorke: Music God, until I gathered enough optimism for it (and at the pressing of a friend who really loves it). I find it frequently excellent, but it (perhaps unsurprisingly) lacks the polish and consistency of a Radiohead record. It also feels much less demanding and expansive despite it's firmly electronica-tinged base (I assume this is the absence of Greenwood's contributions), like many a (as you referenced) HttT-era B-side that you sort of figure Thom mostly put together himself (I Am Citizen Insane and Paper Bag Writer spring to mind as tracks that wouldn't have seemed out of place on The Eraser). HttF and even the relatively-tame-by-Radiohead's-standards In Rainbows by comparison are more complex, grander, more intense. The Eraser simmers and tumbles along, but it doesn't, uh, rock quite so hard.