Friday, February 11th, 2022

Spoon – Wild

Your 3-to-4-yearly reminder that we like some indie rock is here!


Leah Isobel: Jack Antonoff has a writing credit on this, and it makes a lot of sense. You can hear his fetish for blustery 80s Jerseycore in its crystalline, anthemic build. It’s a little too clean for me; a song called “Wild” should have more, y’know, wildness, or at least danger. But maybe I’m picky. The economic/existential anxiety here almost works as a good substitute: it’s a great, bleak joke that this band, whose critical and commercial turnaround was so tied to the indie-licensing industrial complex, would write that line about advertising.

Nortey Dowuona: The drums’ big flat feet slap against the water as the guitars crackle in the air, as if threatening thunder. As Britt Daniel’s voice becomes so wild and crackling, the bass slowly stabilizes it, another guitar spreads out behind Daniel’s caterwaul. The piano leaps around the drums, and a distant guitar line slips through, but cannot touch Daniel, only limply caressing his cheek as the drums carry him to the end of the lake.

John Pinto: High school bio teachers who jam together during lunch (Spoon) show the kid who brings his guitar to school (Jack Antonoff) “the real stuff” (“Movin’ on Up,” which he’s heard before, and “Yoo Doo Right,” which he hasn’t).

Alfred Soto: The piano echoes “Sympathy for the Devil,” the guitar echoes like thunder, and the toughening starchiness of Britt Daniel’s timbre gives this quasi-prayer an unexpected intensity.

Edward Okulicz: “Wild” has a great rhythm, and the verses are quite biting lyrically, seemingly alternating between vaguely rueful and lightly self-mocking, and Britt Daniel’s delivery doesn’t give any indication of which way it is intended. Unfortunately, the chorus is a big empty expanse of cliches, and a lot less crafted and interesting.

John S. Quinn-Puerta: The lyrics are begging for an escape, an exit ramp from modern living. But though the sounds are all interesting at least, the bass tone in particular quite punchy, I can’t get past the, frankly, lazy piano chords. It makes a song about the emptiness of modern life a little too full. But I’ll take more of that guitar bridge any day.

Vikram Joseph: The first thing I think about when I think about Spoon is those intricate, tightly-coiled rhythms, and “Wild” has them in spades: just listen to the way that every layer of razored guitar interlocks with the beat. Then there’s the easy flair with which they welcome external genres into their music — blues, funk, soul, classic rock, new-wave — and all of them are here, but you don’t clock their presence because damn it’s so perfectly integrated. And none of this would matter much if they didn’t make you feel something, but for all of their cool aloofness there’s true euphoria in what they do. “Wild” is adventurous and joyful, with hairpin dynamic shifts that drop my stomach and an unexpected melodic concession in the guitar break that turns a screw in my chest. Perhaps most remarkable of all, Spoon are ten albums in and still finding ways to make the tricks they’ve been turning for aeons sound new.

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