Spoon is a band of paradoxes. They love faux-artsy, misspelled or slangy album/song titles, while the actual content is always high art. They hail from Austin, Texas, but sound like they just crossed the pond. And, most impressively, they manage to create indelible pop gems that are as skeletal and vague as they are bombastic and lush.
Continuing one of music's finest winning streaks (dating back to the release of Girls Can Tell in 2001), Spoon have released another stunning record of ephemeral pop and sleek rock. Opener "Don't Make Me a Target" uses vamping guitar chugs and a crunchy chorus to get topical about "nuclear dicks with the dialect drawls / that come from a parking lot town." Nonetheless, it is the ringing "You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb" and the brassy, Jon Brion-produced strum-a-thon "The Underdog" that stand out as timeless pop entries.
Even Spoon's miscues are fairly enjoyable. "The Ghost of You Lingers" is a lovely tune of jagged piano stabs and lilting vocals that is forgivably unaffecting, while "Don't You Evah" locks into a nice, funky groove and remains stuck.
Still, as singer/songwriter Britt Daniel goes, so does Spoon, and he is in top form on the flamenco-infused "My Little Japanese Cigarette Case," the affecting "Finer Feelings" and the simmering closer "Black Like Me." It seems, once again, that Spoon will remain one of the quirkier bands with massive crossover appeal--a band everyone can go gaga for.