• Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Jan 19, 2010

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critic Reviews

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. 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.
  3. Transference features immediately winning songs like "Who Makes Your Money," "Written In Reverse," and "Got Nuffin," all thickly groovy in the classic Spoon style, and it breaks some new ground on the aching, twangy "Out Go The Lights," which finds Daniel paying homage to Factory Records.
  4. 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.
  5. Spoon have created an album that will not only satisfy long-time observers but will also act as a gateway for those yet to discover their charms.
  6. The decision not to focus on immediate pop hooks is really a blessing, though, as this album showcases Spoon at their loosest and most diverse.
  7. What we have here is a great album, un- or under-appreciated....What Transference does is it opens a space for this band to experiment within again.
  8. Transference has the act experimenting more with textures and mood. The result is a collection of melodic fragments and unexpectedly welcome left turns.
  9. Transference is a challenging, mature statement from a band generally known for more for refining their approach with each release.
  10. While the bandmates sound like the veterans they are on Transference, Spoon brings to this new level the same prickliness and elusiveness that has informed all of its previous albums, and that has attracted devoted fans intent on parsing every word and note.
  11. Alternative Press
    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]
  12. 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.
  13. Under The Radar
    While Transference is remarkable in its own right, song for song it stands tall alongside the best of the band's entire catalog. [Holiday, 2009, p.77]
  14. It's another unfussy, unshowy winner.
  15. Sure, Transference may not reach the same dizzying heights as "Kill the Moonlight" or "Gimme Fiction" did, but it's still better than half the indie-rock music that's out there today. Why? Because, in short, it's a Spoon album.
  16. Nearly half these songs are the original demos, which explains some of the austerity that makes it such a compelling listen from a band that's still at the mercy of its muse.
  17. Uncut
    This is the challenging, take-no-prisoners result, an audacious fusion of the reliable and the experimental, as daniel and Eno continue into the new decade a musical conversation as lively and uncompromising as that of Jack and Meg White. [Feb 2010, p.99]
  18. Given Spoon's reputation for consistency, it's not a surprise that Transference is good. However, it manages to be good in surprising ways.
  19. Within Spoon's astute use of sunny structure, a brooding heart of murky frustration lurks. A deceptive, addictive album, revelling in hidden depths.
  20. 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.
  21. It's as though they've found the link between tightly driven post punk and loose garage rock. Songs such as "Trouble," "Mystery Zone," and last year's single "Got Nuffin" bridge the gap between Nuggets and the Stiff Records label. This is certainly what indie rock has been based on for the past 30 years and so far only Spoon has done it with any success. As though to balance out the rock or to satisfy their interest in each end of the song writing spectrum, Transference also satisfies.
  22. Q Magazine
    Experimental yet entirely accessible, Transference proves that Spoon are of America's finest bands. [Feb 2010, p. 111]
  23. 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.
  24. Spoon's seventh studio album, Transference, strikes a balance between its early angsty indie-rock and the soulful deconstructed pop of its 2007 release, "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga."
  25. This is Spoon at its most Spoony.
  26. 70
    With little more than tense bass, wiry guitar, and that signature uh-AH-uh-uh-AH percussion, the songs (recorded on the quick in Daniel's house) crackle with the freshness of rough-cut demos.
  27. Transference offers up several solid additions to the Spoon canon and setlist, but narrowly misses living up to its pedigree.
  28. Transference is Spoon's seventh album and, at times, sounds like their best.
  29. Their seventh album, might be one of their best, with the band and leader Britt Daniel sounding as energised and playful as a puppy
  30. Transference is a good album, just not in league with what's become par.
  31. Transference, the Austin band's seventh full-length, will serve as another whittling down of the singular aesthetic that has made them one of the most engaging American bands of the past decade.
  32. Most of the songs lack distinctive melodies, relying instead on shifting textures and trance-like rhythm to hold the listener's interest.
  33. Careful consideration shows that Transference really is exactly the record that Spoon intend it to be. It's just not a record that anyone really needs, one from which our feelings will all-too-easily transfer the next time that Spoon put out a record that inevitably reminds us of Spoon.
  34. Transference is the victim of an unfortunate irony--the more honed, the less it cuts.
  35. Lyrically, Daniel is more vulnerable than on previous efforts--transference being a part of psychoanalysis--but not enough that he takes many new creative turns.
  36. Mojo
    But there is nothing here that will leap out of the speakers to entice the unconverted, despite the Weezer-like spod-rock of Fot Nuffin and Trouble's garage pop stomp. [Feb 2010, p. 92]
  37. 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.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 108 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 2 out of 108
  1. Dec 17, 2019
    Nothing like posting a review nine years later, but this album deserves a revisit. If you stayed away, because the reviews were lessNothing like posting a review nine years later, but this album deserves a revisit. If you stayed away, because the reviews were less gleaming, if you initially thought this album didn't have the polish of the back catalog of Spoon classics then it's time to give it a spin again. This is really, really great songwriting. Not a wasted moment on the album. A great album even among the greats. All I could think when I first heard this was that it sounded like they needed a different producer. Now, in 2019, it might be my favorite Spoon album! Full Review »
  2. Jul 3, 2019
    One of the most over-looked Alternative/Rock albums in the 21st century. Definitely a slow-burner. "Transference" is Spoon's antithesis to "GaOne of the most over-looked Alternative/Rock albums in the 21st century. Definitely a slow-burner. "Transference" is Spoon's antithesis to "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga", being stripped back, minimal, and roots-y, yet it holds that same wholesome and unique quality that Britt Daniel's way of songwriting has implemented throughout Spoon's entire discography. This album is an ode to the old fans, the strictly-Rock fans, and fans who adhere more to the raw, multifaceted elements of Rock. If "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" (their previous album) is Spoon's catchy, colorful, and slightly-Poppy hit, 'Transference" is their emotional, serious, and roots-y dark side. Not all songs mainly carry those elements (such as "Trouble Comes Running", with its rightly-under-produced 70s Post-Punk-inspired Summer Rock, or the at-ease, echoey background song that is "Who Makes Your Money"), but the entirety of the album is rooted in demo-inspired, happy-mistake kind of Rock. There are moments that seem off, like that cut-off between "The Mystery Zone" and "Who Makes Your Money", or the technique to start on the off-beat at the beginning of "Is Love Forever?", but these were intended, as well as being mistakes. It's the raw, live, one-take kind of strategy that is rare in the 21st century of modern, popular music that Spoon knew they could've avoided after the massive success of their predecessor. But they didn't, which is admirable. It's telling the status-quo and the Pop culture that there is another way. Full Review »
  3. Jul 31, 2016
    DO NOT sleep on this amazing album. Some fans pass it off as one of the weaker records in the band's discography. True Spoon fans know it'sDO NOT sleep on this amazing album. Some fans pass it off as one of the weaker records in the band's discography. True Spoon fans know it's really a beautifully raw masterpiece. Often overlooked in the strong year that was 2010, "Transference" offers so much more than meets the eye, and it definitely took me many listens before I really came to love it. This album is anything but weak. A "would-be" top album for many modern rock bands. Full Review »