29. Spoon–‘Transference’

Best of 2010Delightfully lithe, pin-point accurate indie rock with a fine sense of melody and a neat way with a throbbing bass line, ‘Transference’ is yet another excellent Spoon album. ‘The Mystery Zone’ has an early Seventies upbeat chug which makes it one of the more easily identifiable tracks on the record even after a cursory listen, an accolade aided by the rather peculiar abrupt ending it receives. It’s not the only severe fade or shuddering halt on this album, something which ensures a relentless sense of pace. There’s more than a hint of rowdy Lennon on the piano heavy ‘Written In Reverse’ and there is a sense throughout of listening to one of those not especially commercially successful ‘lost’ records from thirty-five years ago which the music monthlies rave about from time to time. Which is another way of saying it’s a blinder.


Transference’ sounds like a bare bones rock record – its direct approach serving as one of its finest virtues. The ‘mmm-mmm’ in the background of ‘Goodnight Laura’ is utterly enchanting and thoroughly deserving of two and a half minutes of headphone time, while ‘Got Nuffin’ sounds just as pent up on the fiftieth listen as it did when it first emerged quietly on 7” single back in the summer of 2009. You may find yourself wondering quite what the fuss was all about after a solitary play but this is one of those sets which can grow into the aural equivalent of an old friend, instantly triggering those little endorphin rushes at various points where your ears prick up and recognise a neat little bass part or a quite deliberately wayward piano clatter. And what about that cover? It has the look, as well as the sound, of a vintage delight; the sort of thing you see up on the wall in second hand vinyl shops trying to encourage you to empty your wallet. Spoon have released catchier music and they’ve released more fully realised music, but ‘Transference’ is a twitchy, unassuming delight.

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