Author: Matos, Michaelangelo
Date published: February 11, 2010
SINGLES, REMIXES & MP3S
If you'd told me five years ago that I'd be obsessed with a song that sounds like circa-1986 OMD doing a Journey power ballad, I'd have laughed at you. Not anymore. "I Remember" is truly shameless-one long surge, with a vocal melody whose arc is so stately it's nearly corny. But the sad-eyed bombast works utterly: By the time Chris Keating wrings the chorus ("You're stuck in my mind/Ah-all the time") for maximum ache, I'm ready to wear his corsage.
"Who Makes Your Money"
The bent-piano "Written in Reverse" is the new single, the Stones-riffing "Got Nuffin" the old one, but this is the track on Transference I can't get out of my head. It's the most emblematic of the album as a whole: gridlike and geometric, with Britt Daniel muttering the title phrase and leaving off the last syllable, only to highlight it in falsetto late in the track. Spoon are often described as minimalists, which usually just means they don't saturate the soundfi eld, but this song is so empty it sounds spooked.
by Strong Arm Steady feat. Mitchy Slick
I like the words of these L.A. rappers' ambivalent song about gun power, but this one is more about the sound of those words bobbing, threading, and shadowboxing with Madlib's rise-and-fall beat, which cuts up an old soul-harmony record (maybe gospel, but probably not) with liquid-toned guitar plucking. It's one of the most mesmerizing loops I've heard in a while-a real earworm, only pleasurable.
"One Life Stand"
by Hot Chip
A couple weeks ago I reviewed Carl Craig's remix of this song, which is great, before hearing the original. It's also great-as immediately appealing as people claim for all those earlier albums' singles, only I didn't hear it as clearly as I do now. It's classic disco that's taut as well as playful, driven by a tight little riff that holds up the background; when ancillary percussion joins in, it stays focused (unlike, say, the sloppy percussion of "Over and Over"). Even the electro-tom that takes it out (you know, the "OOOooohhh... oooOOOHHH" familiar from Anita Ward's "Ring My Bell") is a grace note rather than a smirk. If the Yeasayer is this week's prom song, "One Life Stand" is the wedding dance.
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