The Austin-based indie-rock band Spoon (www.spoontheband.com) is getting ready to release its seventh studio album, entitled "Transference", on Jan. 19. This will be the group's fifth release for the independent label Merge Records, which is based out of Durham, North Carolina (www.mergerecords.com).
In 2003 Spoon really lit their spark nationally thanks to a smash-hit television series on FOX known as The O.C., which used their track "The Way We Get By" in a particularly memorable first-season scene (even I remember it quite well; the show was worth watching for the soundtrack alone). After that success, with the release of their 2005 album "Gimme Fiction" came the track "I Turn My Camera On", which had everyone who heard it tapping their feet to the perpetually catchy beat. Also noteworthy on that album was a dark, moody groove entitled "Was It You?", and a song which I believe is one of their best, "The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine". Put these with the rest of the album and you have one of the best rock albums of that year.
However, in 2007, with the release "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" it felt like the band was either struggling with trying to find a new direction to go in, or they were still content with the "Gimme Fiction" sound and replicating it. The problem was, while there were plenty of songs which resembled some of the more piano-driven pieces from "Gimme Fiction", there weren't any really moody, funky standouts that I couldn't help but bob my head to while thinking "I really like this guy's attitude." So, the question for me remains, will that need be taken care of in a few days, on Jan. 19 when the album is released? Or will "Transference" just be something I chalk up to my "Justifiable Reasons For Using an I-Tunes Gift Card" list? Let's hope for the former. If you want to find out what I think then keep an eye on my page, I will be reviewing this album as part of an upcoming bi-weekly "What We're Listening To" series here on Examiner.com.