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CD of The Week

Week of 2/14/22

    Spoon - Lucifer On The Sofa (Matador)

    How has it been five years since the last album from indie rock stalwarts Spoon? Putting out the 2019 best-of set Everything Hits at Once and touring with Beck & Cage the Elephant makes that gap seem much smaller than it is (though a pandemic obviously contributed to that break). On 2017’s Hot Thoughts, Britt Daniel and friends stuck to a sharper production style and a slicker, synthier sound. After touring for a few years, the band wanted to recapture more of a live vibe once again, which brings us to their tenth record, Lucifer on the Sofa.

    Lucifer… kicks off with a soaring, shaggy cover of the Smog tune “Held,” starting with some studio chatter in the mix, a nice touch also heard on Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga that makes you feel like you’re in the room where it happened. The Texas boogie in the guitar riffage of lead single “The Hardest Cut” is something you’ve countless times before, yet it sounds so great and timeless here.

    That classic Spoon keyboard sound and shuffle show up in “The Devil & Mister Jones,” two characters that have been haunting rock songs for years. On the spacious “Wild,” Daniel sings of a wandering soul, perhaps a touring musician, describing interactions where “All them wanting / Something special / Bring ‘em roses / Sing them blues” but “the world still so wild called to me…”

    “My Babe” builds under a steady beat from the reliable Jim Eno, creating what may be the most straight-ahead, unabashed love song Daniel has ever written, declaring he will “Sign my name, hold my breath / Sing my heart out, beat my chest for / My babe.” Elsewhere, “On the Radio” could musically fit on any Spoon album. Daniel revisits radio as the roots of his love of music, stating there’s nothing he’d rather do: “They say how come you still play that game, John Britt? / 'Cause I was born to it.”

    The title track wraps things up with Daniel walking through his hometown of Austin (namechecking Lavaca St., which runs through the heart of the concert district) during the early days of the pandemic, passing empty venues that should be overflowing with live music. The ‘80s saxophone really helps the atmosphere of a contemplative, late-night walk through city streets and into the unknown.

    As another addition to Spoon’s beloved catalog of classics, Lucifer on the Sofa shows that making music is much more than the way they get by, but that Daniel and his bandmates were “born to it.”

    Spoon is scheduled to play The Fillmore on Friday, April 15. Enter to win tickets by voting for this week's Top 11 @ 11.

    Review by Joey O.

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