Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Spoon: Transference [Merge, 2010]
So hermetic, so dynamically contained, Britt Daniel's music discourages identification however impressive its skill set. Ratcheting his reticence up half a turn, he opens with his bleakest new song, and only if you follow his chronically noncommittal lyrics will you notice his emotions opening up along with his tunes, his attitudes along with his structures. First it's "All I know is all I know," then it's "I'm part of this world." Smart enough to have figured out that he's "got nothing to lose but bitterness and patterns," he combats his own unease, and there's a payoff--not the nicer girl than he deserves so much as the grace to write her an adult lullaby: "Your worries are meant to stop for now/You know they're not for keeping." A-