They Want My Soul

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They Want My Soul
They Want My Soul.jpg
Studio album by Spoon
Released August 5, 2014 (2014-08-05)
Genre
Length 37:35
Label
Producer
Spoon chronology
Transference
(2010)Transference2010
They Want My Soul
(2014)
Hot Thoughts
(2017)Hot Thoughts2017
Singles from They Want My Soul
  1. "Rent I Pay"
    Released: June 10, 2014
  2. "Do You"
    Released: July 1, 2014
  3. "Inside Out"
    Released: October 27, 2014

They Want My Soul is the eighth studio album by American indie rock band Spoon. It was released on August 5, 2014 through the band's new label, Loma Vista Recordings. It is the band's first album to feature new member Alex Fischel, who plays keyboards and guitar.[3]

Background[edit]

The band took several years off following the release of Transference in 2010, giving each member time to explore other projects. Frontman Britt Daniel explained that the band members were "all a little burned out", and that he personally needed "something that was going to reinvigorate me, to excite me about working on new stuff again."[4] To this end, Daniel formed the group Divine Fits with Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade, which recorded and released the album A Thing Called Divine Fits in 2012. Jim Eno produced albums for other bands during the downtime, while Rob Pope toured with his band The Get Up Kids, and Eric Harvey recorded a solo album.[4]

Recording[edit]

The band first met to record with Joe Chiccarelli in September 2013 with very little material written, opting to take some time to explore different songwriting approaches together. Daniel later said that the early sessions "felt, to some degree, like we were getting back to the essence of Spoon; just having fun playing together, and [...] figuring out new ways of doing what we've always done."[5] Several songs were recorded during these early sessions with Chicarelli, though some of the material was ultimately scrapped.

The group began working with Dave Fridmann in January 2014, staying at his studio in Fredonia, New York during the sessions.[3] Daniel credited much of the album's aesthetic to Fridmann, stating: "His sound is kind of all over it. He has a really unique manner about him, a really cool perspective; he kind of maxes everything out. We've never worked with somebody like that before - somebody with such a strong sense of their own style."[4]

Release[edit]

On May 27, 2014, the band posted an image to their Facebook page with the words "SPOON," "R.I.P.," and "JUNE 10" printed in white against a black background.[6] This led to some speculation about whether a new album or single might be released on that date.[7] The following week, Britt Daniel and Jim Eno announced the album's title and release date in an interview with NPR Music.[3] On June 10th, the letters "R.I.P." were revealed to stand for the title of the album's lead single, "Rent I Pay". The song was released that day, as well as the album's track listing and artwork.[8]

In July, the band announced a first-of-its-kind "vinyl gratification" initiative. From July 15 through the album's release date, all pre-orders of the vinyl album through participating independent record stores would immediately receive a free 10-inch 45 RPM record containing three of the album's tracks: "Rent I Pay", "Inside Out", and "Do You". 150 different record stores within the United States participated.[9]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.7/10[11]
Metacritic81/100[10]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[12]
Chicago Tribune3.5/4 stars[13]
CuepointB+[14]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[15]
The Guardian4/5 stars[16]
Los Angeles Times3.5/4 stars[17]
NME7/10[18]
Pitchfork8.6/10[19]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[20]
Spin8/10[21]

They Want My Soul received universal acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 81, based on 42 reviews, awarding the band its fifth "universal acclaim" tag of its career. Michael Roffman wrote in his review for Consequence of Sound that "the Austin rockers once again sound fresh, jubilant, and ready to have fun with their music — a first since their Got Nuffin EP back in 2009."[1] Rolling Stone's Jon Dolan described the album as "an immediate grabber on par with the group's best work to date," praising its "rich, luminous sound" and "broad musical palette".[20] Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune admired the "array of new colors" Alex Fischel brought to the band's sound, stating that the "trance-like, futuristic rush of 'Outlier' sounds particularly fresh".[13] Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times felt that much of the album's success could be attributed to "a tension between experimentation and allegiance to form", an aspect highlighted by Chiccarelli and Fridmann's production work.[17] Stephen Carlick of Exclaim! concluded in his eight out of ten review: "Following the longest between-album wait of their career, They Want My Soul is a bold and swaggering declaration that Spoon have undoubtedly still got it — in spades."[22] The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop annual critics' poll named They Want My Soul as the ninth-best album of 2014.

A few reviewers felt the album sounded a bit too similar to the band's past efforts. In a seven out of ten star review, Billy Hamilton wrote for Under the Radar that "Despite the band's four-year vacation, They Want My Soul doesn't tread much fresh ground. Essentially, this is Spoon as Spoon has always been," but clarified: "While it's sonically nothing new, what Spoon offers is still infinitely more polished than the work of any of their contemporaries."[23] Jamie Milton of DIY stated that "They Want My Soul is in a slight catch 22; it's exciting to hear a band so resolutely in their zone, but on the flipside it doesn't offer anything remotely new, and that's the opposite of exciting."[24] Matthew Fiander of PopMatters, however, thought the familiarity of the album's sound worked to its advantage: "They Want My Soul [is] another strong record from the band, one that pushes forward in interesting ways while still staying rooted in Spoon's signature sound. If it stumbles, it does so rarely and in search of the new."[25]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Rent I Pay"Britt DanielDave Fridmann, Spoon3:09
2."Inside Out"DanielFridmann, Spoon5:02
3."Rainy Taxi"DanielFridmann, Spoon3:58
4."Do You"DanielJoe Chiccarelli, Spoon3:33
5."Knock Knock Knock"DanielFridmann, Spoon4:39
6."Outlier"Daniel, Jim Eno, Eric HarveyChiccarelli, Spoon4:22
7."They Want My Soul"DanielChiccarelli, Spoon3:22
8."I Just Don't Understand" (Ann-Margret cover)Marijohn Wilkin, Kent WestberrySpoon2:38
9."Let Me Be Mine"DanielChiccarelli, Spoon3:26
10."New York Kiss"Daniel, Dan WilsonChiccarelli, Spoon3:27
Total length:37:35

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2014) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[27] 43
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[28] 112
Canadian Albums Chart[29] 10
Dutch Albums Chart[30] 50
Japanese Albums Chart[31] 100
UK Independent Albums Chart[32] 14
US Billboard 200[33] 4
US Top Rock Albums[33] 3
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[34] 2

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2014) Position
US Top Rock Albums[35] 57
US Alternative Albums (Billboard)[36] 36

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Roffman, Michael (August 1, 2014). "Spoon – They Want My Soul". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved August 2, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Album Review: Spoon – They Want My Soul". The Brock Press. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "After Learning To Loosen Up, Spoon Readies Its Return: The All Songs Interview". NPR. 2014-06-05. Retrieved 2014-07-27. 
  4. ^ a b c "Interview: Spoon". The Line Of Best Fit. July 16, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  5. ^ "The Way They Get By: Spoon - 'They Want My Soul' review". Texas Monthly. August 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-27. 
  6. ^ "Spoon - Cover Photos". May 27, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2014. 
  7. ^ Martins, Chris (May 28, 2014). "Spoon Will 'R.I.P.' in June". Spin Media. Retrieved August 4, 2014. 
  8. ^ Beauchemin, Molly (June 10, 2014). "Spoon share studio version of Rent I Pay, reveal They Want My Soul album details and cover". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved August 4, 2014. 
  9. ^ Blistein, Jon (1 July 2014). "Spoon Offer Free 10-Inch with Vinyl Pre-Orders of New Album". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Reviews for They Want My Soul by Spoon". Metacritic. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  11. ^ "They Want My Soul by Spoon reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved June 5, 2018. 
  12. ^ Phares, Heather. "They Want My Soul – Spoon". AllMusic. Retrieved August 10, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Kot, Greg (August 4, 2014). "Spoon finds its soul on new album". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 5, 2014. 
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert (October 3, 2014). "Robert Christgau: Expert Witness". Cuepoint. Retrieved August 2, 2014. 
  15. ^ Rahman, Ray (September 24, 2014). "They Want My Soul". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 1, 2015. 
  16. ^ Petridis, Alexis (July 31, 2014). "Spoon: They Want My Soul review – a beautifully made, multi-layered album". The Guardian. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  17. ^ a b Roberts, Randall (August 4, 2014). "Review: Spoon's 'They Want My Soul' is full of mesmerizing curves, accents". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 5, 2014. 
  18. ^ Cottingham, Chris (August 1, 2014). "Spoon – 'They Want My Soul'". NME. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 4, 2014. 
  19. ^ Dombal, Ryan (August 4, 2014). "Spoon: They Want My Soul". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 4, 2014. 
  20. ^ a b Dolan, Jon (August 5, 2014). "They Want My Soul". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 5, 2014. 
  21. ^ Walters, Barry (4 August 2014). "Spoon Destroy Their Sound to Save It on Triumphant 'They Want My Soul'". Spin. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  22. ^ Carlick, Stephen (August 1, 2014). "Spoon: They Want My Soul". Exclaim!. Retrieved August 2, 2014. 
  23. ^ Hamilton, Billy (August 1, 2014). "Spoon: They Want My Soul". Under the Radar. Retrieved August 2, 2014. 
  24. ^ Milton, Jamie (July 31, 2014). "Spoon – They Want My Soul". DIY. Retrieved August 6, 2014. 
  25. ^ Fiander, Matthew (August 4, 2014). "Spoon: They Want My Soul". PopMatters. Retrieved August 6, 2014. 
  26. ^ a b c d They Want My Soul (liner notes). Spoon. Loma Vista Recordings. 2014.
  27. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". ARIA. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  28. ^ "Spoon - They Want My Soul" (in Dutch). Ultratop (NL). Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  29. ^ "Canadian Albums". Billboard.com. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  30. ^ "SPOON - THEY WANT MY SOUL (ALBUM)" (in Dutch). Dutch Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  31. ^ ゼイ・ウォント・マイ・ソウル (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  32. ^ "2014 Top 40 Independent Albums Archive". UK Indie Chart. Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  33. ^ a b "Spoon Scores Top 10 Debut With Unusual Vinyl Promotion". Billboard.com. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  34. ^ "Spoon Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  35. ^ "Top Rock Albums: Year End 2014". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 11, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Alternative Albums: 2014 Year-End Charts". Billboard. Retrieved 16 January 2015.  (subscription required)