They Want My Soul

Britt Daniel is attuned to telling edgy stories with songs. The guitarist/vocalist has enjoyed a prolific span of songwriting over the past 13 years, with his band Spoon (six albums released since 2001, after only two in the previous eight years), as part of indie supergroup Divine Fits and as co-composer of the film soundtrack for Stranger Than Fiction (2006). They Want My Soul is the new album from the Austin, Texas, indie-rock mainstay, and it proves to be yet another fine-tuned illustration of Spoon's diverse sound, utilizing elements ranging from beatbox to honky-tonk piano and raucous acoustic guitar. Since 1993 the band has been revamping a musical vibe that combines low-fi vocals and straight-forward, driving pop rhythms. À la Cake's rendition of Gloria Gaynor's “I Will Survive” (a deft combination of raw rock and R&B) Spoon's “Inside Out” follows a bouncing drumbeat while Daniel sings in a scratchy tenor: “There's intense gravity in you/I'm just your satellite/ … Time keeps going when/We got nothing else to give.” Guitar tones range from brassy tube distortion to white-noise fuzz, leaving a pleasantly disjointed effect when added as a backdrop to Daniel's slightly brooding lyrics and drummer Jim Eno's punctual crackling beats and drops.