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Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 90 Ratings

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  • Summary: The seventh full-length album self-produced by the band strips the music down to nothing more than guitar, bass, precussion, and Britt Daniel's voice.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. It may pretty much lack any semblance of conventional verse-chorus-verse structure, but for those who find the metronomic abstractions of this band soothing, Transference is exactly what you crave, unadorned.
  2. The album twisted and turned its already discombobulated songs around and around, never letting anyone get comfortable. It showed a more cerebral Spoon than ever before.
  3. Transference is a challenging, mature statement from a band generally known for more for refining their approach with each release.
  4. The somber, subtle hand instills Transference with a fair amount of grace, an impressive feat for a band known more for its indie irreverence than its elegance.
  5. It can be a bit of a let down if you come in expecting another blockbuster like "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga," but something of a revelation if you meet them halfway.
  6. Transference is Spoon's seventh album and, at times, sounds like their best.
  7. Even Spoon's nice sounding (albeit always obtuse) lyrics can't make up for the generally flat music here, and with Transference, Spoon's undeniable swagger has taken a considerable hit.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. HarlanS.
    Jan 19, 2010
    Spoon can do no wrong.
  2. BenH
    Feb 3, 2010
    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
  3. AlexV.
    Jan 20, 2010
    I enjoyed every part of this album. You can listen it wherever you want: at home, in car, everywhere.
  4. Aug 12, 2010
    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
  5. MikefromMaine
    Jan 31, 2010
    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. Expand
  6. ErinH
    Jan 22, 2010
    Pretty darn good record. Not their best but definitely not bad.
  7. Jul 29, 2011
    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.

See all 20 User Reviews