Austin’s Spoon comes into the new decade having already established themselves as one of the most consistently good bands around. They perfected their sound years ago, and have released album after album of top quality material while not veering too far off their beaten path. While some may see this kind of approach to making music as static and tiresome, when you are masters of what you do there is no real reason to change.

What keeps Spoons seventh album, “Transference,” from falling by the wayside is the fact that they still have enough tricks up their sleeves to make it stand on it’s own against an overwhelming back catalog.

The Spoon sound centers itself around the inherent simplicity of their music and the added effects and nuances that make each song unique. The majority of the tracks on “Transference,” as with almost all of the band’s previous material, contain very simple guitar parts (with occasional solos or freak outs scattered here and there), pulsing bass lines, and pronounced percussion with piano parts thrown in for good measure. The different parts build upon each other, and lead singer Britt Daniel sings with the kind of effortless swagger he has become known for. The added effects such as playing with the vocals, random sounds, and flurries of electronics add a sense of depth to the songs that would not be present otherwise.

This winning formula is evident throughout “Transference.” For example, on “The Mystery Zone” many layers of sound are added over a drum beat and guitar riff that remains the same until the bridge. Meanwhile, Daniel sings his trademark lyrics that are at once simple and dense until the song cuts out mid sentence. The distorted vocals on the chorus of “Who Makes Your Money” add more emotion to an almost haunting sounding arrangement. More importantly, the band gives off an air of effortlessness in their playing that shows their comfort with each other as a band, even in their most scattershot moments. There is nary a wasted note on the album, and it is obvious that the band spent an extended amount of time making sure everything fit in its proper place. Additionally, the album as a whole sounds really good, thanks in part to the tight production, something that the band has perfected over the years.

While many of the songs here are consistent in quality, the album’s best moments come when the group strips things down to their most basic elements. “Written In Reverse,” the album’s standout track, is the quintessential Spoon single. Over a simple piano riff, the guitar and bass color the musical landscape while Daniel gives one of his most unhinged vocal performances yet. Additionally, “Got Nuffin’” contains an extremely catchy bass line that gives the song an added punch and a sense of urgency amidst very solid guitar playing. When Spoon is delivering at full force, they have very few contemporaries. Other tracks that exemplify this include “I Saw the Light” and the short yet effective “Is Love Forever.”

If there are any complaints to be levied at the album, it mainly derives from the fact that several of the songs on “Transference” lack the immediacy that was present on many of their previous efforts. While the band has always been very good about grabbing listeners with almost every song, several tracks here, such as album opener “Before Destruction,” will require many more listens before their impact is felt. Additionally, some may find the fact that Spoon takes very little risks here to be a turnoff.  These are only minor complaints, however, and they do very little to bring down the album as a whole.

With this album, Spoon hasn’t broken any new ground or made a record that stands above their previous output. That says a lot, though, considering that this is the same band that gave us several of the best albums of the last decade. Taken for what it is, “Transference” is a strong collection of songs from a band that is still as relevant and important now as they were eight or nine years ago, right when they were just hitting their stride. There are enough great moments here that demonstrate that Spoon never really had to outdo themselves, and that consistency can still pay off if in the hands of such a capable band.

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