The Best Music of 2010 [Albums #15-#11]

Sorry for the slight delay in getting this post online. I’ve been mildly distracted by WordPress’ recent decision to abruptly take one of its most popular blogs offline because it was deemed “hateful” by some non-transparent, secretive tribunal. If ROTI ever vanishes from this space in a similarly mysterious fashion, you can find me at our Facebook page (open to non-Facebook users, FYI) and on Twitter (@alpinemcgregor). Rest assured that we would soon be born again on a different server.

So, where were we? Ah yes, the finest albums of the year. Let’s officially begin our countdown.

#15. Spoon – Transference

Spoon, led by singer/guitarist Britt Daniel and drummer Dan Eno, has been consistently awesome for a decade. I fondly remember the day that DJ Walls of Sound returned from an odyssey of New England college hangouts with a burned CD of Girls Can Tell and promptly dropped a rock-bomb on my dome. Every album since then has provided joy and delight, and Transference is no exception. While this might be my least favorite Spoon album, it’s still a choice selection of tracks that made a strong impression on our panel.

Transference is eminently Spoon material, but still an original departure from their earlier work. This album unfolds in a disjointed, almost dissociative style, but that just makes for a more challenging and compelling listen. Here’s one of the highlights, “Writing in Reverse.”

I believe that esteemed panelist J.J. Behoy’s thoughts on this album say it all:

“OK, let’s be honest – this is a really uneven offering, and not up to some of their past work – and I wasn’t that wild about Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga or whatever that last album was called.  Kill the Moonlight, Girls Can Tell – those taut offerings with great stories and terrific hooks, that was all me.  That being said, there are some bright lights here: “Got Nuffin'” recalls those days of old.  “Who Makes Your Money” shimmies in a way spoon rarely does, but it works well.  “Goodnight Laura” is so achingly beautiful that it can’t help but lift this whole album up.”

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