The narrative of Fight Club revolves around one scene in the movie. Tyler Durden is sitting across from The Narrator in a bar. Earlier that night, The Narrator came home to find his apartment burnt down and all his possessions gone, “Flaming into the night.” Tyler Durden is comforting The Narrator over pitchers of beer. Durden says to The Narrator, “I say, let’s evolve. Let the chips fall where they may.”
And then he delivers the line. “The things you own, end up owning you.”
What we need most in life isn’t frivolity or possessions. We own our ideas and ourselves.
Britt Daniel gets this.
“Auction off what you love,” he sings on “Let Me Be Mine.” “It will come back some time.” It’s a song about escapism. Daniel wants us to just get rid of it. Throw it out.
Which is exactly what Spoon did. They Want My Soul has no nonsense. It isn’t dressed up as a niche genre of rock. It’s the simple, distinct rock music Spoon has been making for over a decade. And it’s arriving at a time where rock music only sounds like itself, or nothing else. We live in an age saturated with hip hop, EDM and pop music that does both. Everyone drops the bass and rock music is boring.
But Spoon isn’t boring. They never have been. They know what works and they turn it on its head, twisting us sonically over and over. And with They Want My Soul they added a lesson – your ego doesn’t have to be as big as you were told.
This record is a breath of fresh air. It shows us what rock music can do.
Spoon isn’t about the sauce, they’re about the spice – the little things that are simple and exciting, like harps (on “Inside Out”) and jazzy piano (on “I Just Don’t Understand”).
Britt Daniel has been evolving for eight albums as a terrific songwriter. They Want My Soul is Spoon’s first on Loma Vista and their first with new member, Alex Fischel, on guitar and synthesizer. Overall, the record is layered with percussive tracks that bounce around your brain like a super ball and reminders of what we truly own, that we need to take care and take care of our memories (see “New York Kiss”).
And in between this narrative, there isn’t any clutter. It’s only what we need to get by. We need Britt Daniel’s unique strain on unusual syllables and the airy synth on tracks like “Outlier” and “Rainy Taxi” so that every time you revisit them, you’ll find a new space to fit inside.
For a record that’s only ten songs and barely forty minutes, you’ll spend a lot of time with They Want My Soul – either now and or later – and every times you’ll find it rewarding. A memory you’ll own.
They Want My Soul is out now.