• Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Jan 19, 2010
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 95 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 90 out of 95
  2. Negative: 3 out of 95

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  1. MikefromMaine
    Jan 31, 2010
    8
    A step away from the pop influenced Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, but a very interesting,and, on repeated listens catchy album. As in prior albums, the rhythm section is the focus again, with the guitar and vocals just used as adornments. Musically its actually quite fascinating, though not quite up to par with Kill the Moonlight and Gimme Fiction. Still, well worth your time.
  2. CodyT.
    Jan 20, 2010
    9
    Thoroughly impressed with this release. Spoon have taken a few steps back from the commercial accessibility of Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga and have crafted a tight, and at times paculiar album of half-thought out tracks that are in fact demos. This album has a very genuine, homemade feel to it and if you allow it to this record will bring you closer to Spoon than you've ever been,
  3. KurtC
    Jan 20, 2010
    9
    I really like the stripped down sound they've crafted here. Their restraint allows you to really focus on the song compositions themselves, the subtle yet catchy melodies and grooves, and the overall excellent musicianship.
  4. ErinH
    Jan 22, 2010
    7
    Pretty darn good record. Not their best but definitely not bad.
  5. BenH
    Feb 3, 2010
    10
    Far and away my favorite spoon album. Every song has a great hook or groove, which we expect from spoon. More importantly, every song is distinctive without wearing out its welcome - the things you come to love about the songs don't define the songs. On past spoon albums, after giving it 5 spins, you can almost experience the entire song after only a few seconds. Each track on Far and away my favorite spoon album. Every song has a great hook or groove, which we expect from spoon. More importantly, every song is distinctive without wearing out its welcome - the things you come to love about the songs don't define the songs. On past spoon albums, after giving it 5 spins, you can almost experience the entire song after only a few seconds. Each track on Transference has pleasures that only unfold throughout the song. So good. Expand
  6. johnw.
    Jan 19, 2010
    10
    Amazing note for note. SPOON never disappoints!
  7. HarlanS.
    Jan 19, 2010
    10
    Spoon can do no wrong.
  8. AlexV.
    Jan 20, 2010
    9
    I enjoyed every part of this album. You can listen it wherever you want: at home, in car, everywhere.
  9. da
    Jan 21, 2010
    7
    "Nothing more than guitar, bass, precussion, and Britt Daniel's voice" ...and piano and keyboards. but nothing more than that, right? And is it really okay to say that the seventh album...strips the music down? And was it the seventh full-length album produced by the band? Misrepresenting an album (and butchering a language) all in one lousy sentence - you did it!
  10. JohnS.
    Jan 22, 2010
    9
    Spoon sounds defeated on this record and defeat has never sounded better. Britt Daniels and the boys create a collection of songs with only one misstep,the first track. This is an excellent record filled with great songs.
  11. WilliamN.
    Jan 25, 2010
    9
    Spoon takes a small step backward in the sense that the songs are less catchy this time out, but a huge step forward in the overall impact of the songs.
  12. JackG.
    Jan 26, 2010
    9
    It took me three listens before this album was cemented among spoon's greatest. The persistence was worth it! This is definitely the most interesting music I've heard in a long while.
  13. TimA
    Jan 27, 2010
    5
    A very disappointing follow-up to Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. I expected much more from them this time around. Britt is trying a little to hard to rhyme when it just doesn't seem necessary on the song "written in reverse" . Oh well I guess we will have to wait another 2yrs for something that can compete with the last 3 records.
  14. David
    Jan 31, 2010
    5
    After listening to this about 5 or 6 times, I have to say I am very disappointed. After Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga which is I think their best CD I guess my expectations were too high. I would rank this as one of their worst efforts by far. Doesn't even come close to Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, and worse than Gimme Fiction and Girls Can Tell.
  15. JohnM.
    Jan 21, 2010
    7
    No doubt about, Spoon has made some of the best records of the past decade and a half, but I feel like this one falls just a bit short. I don't find myself playing these songs in my head at work the way I would with Ga Ga Ga Ga, Gimme Fiction or A Series of Sneaks songs. But in all honesty, a mediocre Spoon record still beats most other band's masterpieces.
  16. C.B.
    Jan 25, 2010
    7
    Good - not great - but definitely worth a spin or two. The album suffers a bit from its lackluster production. Just because the songs are stripped down doesn't mean the overall sound quality should be.
  17. Aug 12, 2010
    9
    Turning their back on the soulful, brassy pop of Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Spoon have instead produced a studio-honed approximation of their rawest, most unhinged music. Production tricks intentionally jar and give Transference a willfully challenging air. Behind the torn-apart vocals and unnerving fragments of sound, however, is as strong a set of compositions as the band have ever written.Turning their back on the soulful, brassy pop of Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Spoon have instead produced a studio-honed approximation of their rawest, most unhinged music. Production tricks intentionally jar and give Transference a willfully challenging air. Behind the torn-apart vocals and unnerving fragments of sound, however, is as strong a set of compositions as the band have ever written. Emotionally draining, of course; unconventionally structured, yes - but this should still secure its place in the pantheon of great albums like virtually every Spoon album that has come before it. Expand
  18. Jan 25, 2012
    9
    Transference is probably Spoon's most odd album. It's a little less catchy than most of their other albums but don't get me wrong, Transference is one of their best. It's a more personal album that needs to be experienced rather than listened too. Spoon just seems to always get better. A-
  19. j30
    Feb 1, 2012
    8
    If you were expecting another Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga then this will be a huge disappointment for you. The first time I listened to Transference I had to take a step back (Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga still remains my favorite Spoon album) and reexamine everything they had done to this point. This record just makes sense at this point in their career. Their 7th studio album was not only produced by themselves,If you were expecting another Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga then this will be a huge disappointment for you. The first time I listened to Transference I had to take a step back (Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga still remains my favorite Spoon album) and reexamine everything they had done to this point. This record just makes sense at this point in their career. Their 7th studio album was not only produced by themselves, half of the tracks are in their demo form, giving the record a more personable, home studio feel. Expand
  20. Jul 29, 2011
    3
    Just like many Spoon albums, Transference has great lyrics. Is Transference a good album? Not really. In the true spirit of Spoon, Transference has great beats. Is Transference a commanding addition to their repertoire? Far from it. Does Transference have the skinny white guy swagger that we've come to love from Spoon? Yes. Is it at least a decent release? Barely.

    It's just a boring
    Just like many Spoon albums, Transference has great lyrics. Is Transference a good album? Not really. In the true spirit of Spoon, Transference has great beats. Is Transference a commanding addition to their repertoire? Far from it. Does Transference have the skinny white guy swagger that we've come to love from Spoon? Yes. Is it at least a decent release? Barely.

    It's just a boring album. The songs do a good job of establishing a mood but beyond that, they just kind of hang there, constantly hammering on the same idea and oftentimes without enough melody to make a complete song. Take "Who Makes Your Money" as an example. It's got a cool new wave kind of vibe with some neat little sounds blipping and beeping in the background, but at no time does it do anything new melodically, rhythmically or harmonically. This is the sort of approach that we get from far too much of the album.

    It's not all bad. I'll fully admit that "The Mystery Zone" is wonderful.This is the kind of tune that we expect to hear from Spoon. Mmmmm, yeah. That's some funky **** I like it. BUT THEN IT JUST **** ENDS. JUST LIKE THAT. IN THE MIDDLE OF A CHORUS. Who's the jackass that thought that was a good idea? It's like sitting down to a delicious lunch and then when you're halfway through your veggie burger (I'm a vegan. This is my blog. In my blog, you're vegan too. Get used to it.) and you're loving every single bite of it and BOOM. IT'S GONE. SOME ASS BASKET TOOK IT AWAY. I'm not totally sure why they ended the song like that. Were they unable to come up with a decent ending and just gave up? Did they think that was a good way to end an otherwise knock out of a song? I don't know. I am left befuddled and without the other half of my veggie burger.

    One might think that my previous paragraph was a bit superfluous. After all, it's just the way one song ended that made me mad. No. No it's not. This is what you can expect from most of this album. It constantly struggles to achieve the kind of brutal awesomenicity (This is MY blog and I use MY words. Get used to it.) that's commonly found on albums like Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga and Gimme Fiction. When it begins to achieve awesomenicity, they just pull the rug out from under you. Transference is one of the best reviewed albums of 2010, much to my surprise. It really makes me wonder why all of the other critics out there have give it such fantastic reviews. Perhaps it's because Spoon has wowed us time and time again with a seemingly never ending run of great albums and people are in denial about the sudden lack of impact that this one delivers.

    Whatever the case may be, I'm calling Spoon out on this one. Spoon, you guys are fantastic. You write fun, witty, funky grooves that make hipster girls boogie in their Converse All Stars. For that, we love you. Just don't put out another album like this. groovesandwich.typepad.com
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Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Ratcheting his reticence up half a turn, he opens with his bleakest new song, and only if you follow his chronically noncommittal lyrics will you notice his emotions opening up along with his tunes, his attitudes along with his structures.
  2. As usual, the production is raw with traces of the recording process still evident. Although Transference lacks the overwhelming variety of "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga," there are notable moments of exploration. [Feb 2010, p.96]
  3. Spoon are equally as enjoyable, and perhaps that bit more intriguing, when they are a little bit harder to fathom. Plus, to put it simply, there ain't a duff track to be found here.