|2022||Lucifer On The Sofa||Spoon||★★★½||70||Rock||Alternative Rock||Indie Rock|
As expected, Spoon’s 10th album and first since 2017’s Hot Thoughts feels almost exactly like their nine previous records. Spoon is likely the most consistent active band. None of their albums are great, but they’re all good, pretty easy to listen to, and you can count on there being two or three tracks that you’ll give some spins.
For Spoon fans, Lucifer On The Sofa is exactly what the doctor ordered – a big, clean, indie rock sound fit for radio. There are a few tracks that are upbeat and guitar driven, but that never get too loud or heavy. There are a few ballads with pianos and some synth keys thrown in, but that never get all that soft. The rest are typical mid-tempo, slightly quirky indie rock tracks.
The opening two tracks come off a bit flat to me. Starting things off with a cover is always a strange choice, especially when you add musical cues and some behind the scenes chit-chat going on that’s completely absent from the rest of the record. “The Hardest Cut” is a pretty subpar single for Spoon, and doesn’t really go anywhere, but the album itself does pick up for there.
A lot of the songs follow a structure that allows them to build up slowly and effectively, whether it’s adding in some horns, a synth, another guitar layer. “Wild” is a much better single, with a nice build that’s a little like a soulful Primal Scream track out of the early 90s. “Devil & Mister Jones” has a cool, very smooth early 2000s-style guitar riff and some dark harmonies, with horns and keys added as it goes.
The album’s two softest tracks, “My Babe” and “Astral Jacket” are two of my favorites, with the latter bringing some ethereal elements like those that Spoon fooled around with effectively on Inside Out.
And overall on the album, the guitar work is subtle, but effective. Each short solo adds a little something to the mix and propels things forward.
Essentially, most of the tracks here are single quality, fun rock songs, and even if it feels formulaic and there isn’t anything here that’s too new or groundbreaking, if you look around you can find some real nice accents that do make it one of Spoons best records.