Spoon has been an indie-rock favorite of mine for quite a while. Even though there is nothing original about their sound or style, I am always more than happy to hear their energetic rock pieces. But ever since I listened to their 2014 record They Want My Soul, I knew the band had the potential of experimenting and getting out of their comfort zone without alienating their core audience. After giving the album a listen I can say they did this pretty well with their ninth studio album, Hot Thoughts.
Hot Thoughts is a forty-one-minute-long record which consists of Spoon’s routine catchy and punchy rock tracks while also featuring funky dance tunes that are reminiscent of Arcade Fire’s 2013 hit Reflektor. This record also offers chill and laid-back jazz songs which is a massive surprise for the indie-rock band but it’s a welcome addition.
Songs like “First Caress” and “Can I Sit Next to You” are funky and fun and different for the band, but not too dissimilar from their style. Spoon keeps tweaking their formula every time they release a new record but not enough to be completely different. I am completely fine with this, however. They have a surprise in store later in this record.
“Pink Up,” the laid-back, groovy fifth track was a huge shock to me since I did not expect this kind of song on a Spoon record. I’m not too crazy about this track even though the eerie strings and piano at the end reminds me of one of my favorite bands, Radiohead. The Hot Thoughts closing track quickly became one of my personal favorite Spoon songs. “Us” is a five-minute-long, ambient, jazz piece that is completely instrumental and is easily the most abstract song the band has released. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it shows the band is willing to try new things even after becoming big on their indie-rock identity.
There are other noteworthy tracks on Hot Thoughts including the self-titled opening track, the energetic and fun “Do I Have to Talk You Into It” and “Shotgun” which all sound and feel like a typical Spoon song. I think this record has something for everyone. Longtime Spoon fans will be surprised by what Hot Thoughts has to offer while also feeling like barely anything has changed. Newcomers will be intrigued by its fresh and interesting sound. I hope Spoon, which has a lot of potential, continues to experiment with their sound because I love what they did with Hot Thoughts.
Recommended Tracks: “Hot Thoughts”, “Do I Have to Talk You Into It”, “First Caress”