Spoon Channels Their Inner Willy Wonka
Spoon has been one of the few consistently solid indie-rock acts of the past 20 years. I can't remember an album from their discography that didn't grab my complete attention - from their ahead-of-its-time second LP, A Series of Sneaks, to the excellent most recent release, They Want My Soul, Daniel and company just don't seem to miss. Spoon usually doesn't go more than three years without hitting the studio, so I was hoping for fresh material in 2017. Unfortunately, I hadn't heard a peep about anything new materializing, so of course without warning on Tuesday, Spoon announced Hot Thoughts.
After sleeping on the limited blue vinyl for They Want My Soul, I had to jump on the Hot Thoughts purple variant, exclusive to Matador. There is, however, one really interesting note about how anybody that orders the purple version, has a chance to receive one of TWO, yes that's right - only two, "Golden Ticket Green Vinyl" discs. These ultra-rare slabs of wax will grant the lucky fans free access to a Spoon show of their choosing through 2018. And so both sides of the pond will have an equal chance at glory, there will be one copy in the US Matador web store, with the other in the UK.
At first glance, this is awesome, but I have to be honest, when I saw that the winners only receive two tickets to one concert, with no travel or accommodation included, it kind made me laugh. I mean, what does a Spoon show cost, all of $40? Hell, if they were ever to sell it, the green vinyl will probably be worth at least 10 times that. It just seems like a pretty weak prize, seeing that Primus did something similar in 2014 with the release of Primus & The Chocolate Factory With The Fungi Ensemble, where the reward was much, much more exciting - free entry to any one of their shows. For life. Now that is what I call a "golden ticket".
Looking beyond Spoon's missed opportunity with playing Willy Wonka for a day, I'm hopeful Hot Thoughts will be one of the best releases to drop in 2017 - and judging from the first leaked songs, it seems as if the boys are going to try something a little different with this one. That familiar Spoon bravado is still very present, but there are definitely some unexpected ingredients sprinkled in. The opening track, "Hot Thoughts", has an infectious dance-rock beat and sounds more epic in scale than anything they've done before. This shouldn't come as a surprise though, seeing that they used well-known producer Dave Fridmann, who was the man behind the glass for sonic masterpieces The Soft Bulletin (Flaming Lips), Oracular Spectacular (MGMT), and Lonerism (Tame Impala). You can hear for yourself by checking out "Hot Thoughts" and "I Ain't The One" below.
And I promise I won't complain even a little bit if I see green while carefully unboxing the limited edition in March.