Next to Birthday’s and Christmas Day (and maybe the first night of Chanukah), there’s no greater cause for celebration around the Drake household than the release of a new Spoon record. For my money, it’s a pretty raw record (which is not a bad thing), it reminds me of “Girls Can Tell” minus a lot of the hooks, but it’s a good one for sure— a grower though. -ed.
Drake’s Take: New Releases 01.19.10
It’s another decent week for new releases in this first month of 2010, with the much anticipated latest from Drake fave Spoon (is every post this week going to feature Spoon? Perhaps). Other notable releases include new ones from Supergrass offshoot The Hotrats (profiled here), Eels, Surfer Blood, Josephine Foster, Barton Carroll, RJD2, Vulture Whale, Editors, the soundtrack to Crazy Heart, a vintage live Elvis Costello disc and the comedic stylings of Aziz Ansari.
Playlist: New Releases 01.19.10
Spoon – Transference
Stream / Purchase [mp3]
Coming off their most commercial effort to date in Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Transference feels like a retreat back to basics, going all the way back to Drake Tungsten, Britt Daniel’s now defunct alter ego/solo lo-fi project. A Series of Sneaks, Spoon’s only major label release from 1998, is the album I’d compare it to, as its collection of rough sketches hint at something great and rely in the listener to finish. The album is Spoon in its rawest form, with nearly half the album remaining in demo form, which works well with a common Spoon theme of break-up. It’s the sound of a heart refusing to break, yet breaking all the same. Lead single “Written in Reverse” has Daniel writing himself out of a relationship, which is an act both of defiance and depression. Similarly, another standout track, “Is Love Forever?”, juxtaposes parental love with that of “some ex-girlfriend, call her Heather.” Since the album title is defined as a “redirection of feelings and desires towards a new object,” if Daniel is using the album (and, in turn, us) as part of his psychotherapy, slap a beard on me and call me Sigmund Freud.
The Hotrats – Turn Ons
Stream / Purchase [mp3]
In the (fabulous) spirit of David Bowie’s Pin Ups comes this great collection of covers from bands that have inspired Supergrass‘ Gaz Coombes and Danny Goffey. The Oxford lads play it mostly straight on the selections, only re-imagining Beastie Boys‘ “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party),” while the production of Nigel Godrich (Radiohead) unfortunately keeps it from getting too raucous. But you can still hear the glee in their rendering of Bowie’s “Queen Bitch,” and Elvis Costello’s “Pump it Up.” And just about any cover of The Kinks’ “Big Sky” (I miss you Flop) is sure to please, in my book.
More on the radar (and in the mp3 player) this week:
Eels – End Times / Free AOL album stream
Surfer Blood – Astro Coast / “Swim” [mp3]
Josephine Foster – Graphic as a Star
Barton Carroll – Together You and I
RJD2 – The Colossus
Vulture Whale – Bamboo You
Editors – In This Light and on This Evening / Free AOL album stream
Crazy Heart Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Various Artists – Almost You: The Songs of Elvis Costello
Tape Deck Mountain – Ghost
Danny Barnes – Pizza Box
Aziz Ansari – Intimate Moments For A Sensual Evening
Elvis Costello – Live at Hollywood High