Spoon - Everything Hits at Once: The Best of Spoon - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Spoon - Everything Hits at Once: The Best of Spoon

by Tim Sentz Rating:7 Release Date:2019-07-26
Spoon - Everything Hits at Once: The Best of Spoon
Spoon - Everything Hits at Once: The Best of Spoon

After nine great LPs, Spoon have finally decided to grace the world with a “best of” collection. This is usually an indication of “contract commitments” for labels, but considering they just signed with Matador for their last album Hot Thoughts, it seems unlikely that’s the case here. Amidst line-up changes (Rob Pope announced his departure earlier this month), and a huge tour in support of Beck and Cage the Elephant, Everything Hits at Once seems like an effort to expose one of the hardest working and most consistent indie rock acts in history to those who listen to Beck and Cage the Elephant. 

The result is a mixed bag of well known Spoon staples, great and good singles, but focuses primarily on their latter-day stride. Nothing from A Series of Sneaks, one cut each from Girls Can Tell (from which the title of this collection is grabbed), Kill the Moonlight, and Transference. At 47 minutes, it seems there just isn’t enough time to tell the story of Spoon. The Austin rockers have produced some of the best indie rock of the 21st century, and there’s a huge disservice to the band’s strong early 2000s catalog. Kill the Moonlight is arguably their greatest album, with stellar representation of their strengths in non-singles like “Small Stakes” and “Don’t Let It Get You Down.” This is always the problem with “best of” compilations, especially for die-hard fans who love practically every song. 

So coming from strictly a point of view for introducing new fans to Spoon, Everything Hits at Once does provide the bare minimum. When Spoon returned in 2014 with the damn-near-perfect They Want My Soul, they sounded rejuvenated after the lapse of time from their luke-warm (but still great) Transference. Bangers like “Do You” and “Rent I Pay” are here, which is good, and the lovely “Inside Out” too, which makes sense as those are some of the more recent hits for Spoon. But there’s room for additional highlights like the thoughtful “Let Me Be Mine,” and the soaring title track. On the flip side, only one song taken from Hot Thoughts (the title track), which is kind of strange considering that's the only album they recorded with Matador. As far as title tracks go, “Hot Thoughts” is honestly one of the weaker ones, and while good, it’s not a strong representation of that album, whereas others like “Can I Sit Next to You” or “Do I Have to Talk You Into It” show off the band in late-career prime form. 

There’s always going to be a gripe with compilations like this, but the pull from Gimme Fiction is sensible. “I Turn My Camera On” opens the compilation, and it’s one of Spoon’s most well-known cuts, having been featured in movies. “I Summon You” is one of the band’s most soulful tracks, and its placement here is welcomed as it wasn’t really a single. Obviously if I was compiling this, I’d have thrown in “Sister Jack” and “The Beast and Dragon, Adored,” but the representation of Gimme Fiction is solid, as are the choices for their 2007 masterpiece Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, which has two of their most famous singles “The Underdog” and “You’ve Got Yr Cherry Bomb,” in addition to the moderately successful “Don’t You Evah.” Though, if I were introducing someone to Spoon, that whole album is worth their time, so I’d just give them that. 

A Series of Sneaks gets no love here, sadly, but it’s obvious why. Sneaks is by far a more abrasive entry in their catalog, and while it has some of their best songs in my opinion, it doesn’t have the accessible nature that “The Way We Get By” has. “Everything Hits at Once” is one of the best tracks from Girls Can Tell, so its placement here is justified, though I’d have the mix open with it. 

The only new track “No Bullets Spent” doesn’t really feel like a strong justification for this compilation though. It’s a fairly standard Spoon song, sounding like it was culled from the same sessions as Hot Thoughts, just refined a bit more. There’s some fine guitar work, but the strengths in Spoon’s history come from their ability to write catchy rhymes and pair them with the Spoon identity flawlessly. “No Bullets Spent” doesn’t really give me that sense of “Spoon classic,” though it's far from a terrible song. All in all, Everything Hits at Once is a serviceable compilation, but it doesn’t fully capture the magic of Spoon and leans too heavily on their recent material. It’s a nice introduction to the band but could use more exploration into deep cuts that long-time fans adore. With only 47 minutes used, there was ample time to toss a few more beloved fan favorites, so Everything Hits at Once misses the mark on that front. 

Comments (2)

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My favorite band to see live. I just saw Beck and Cage the Elephant at a music festival, so not sure I can bear to see my beloved Spoon in an opener spot though I have my ticket for the moment. I still lose my shit every time they play 'My...

My favorite band to see live. I just saw Beck and Cage the Elephant at a music festival, so not sure I can bear to see my beloved Spoon in an opener spot though I have my ticket for the moment. I still lose my shit every time they play 'My Mathematical Mind', which I know is also not on here. They have always seemed to me a band everyone should know and instantly love, so if this gets them more exposure all the better. Good take on the compilation.

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Thanks Mark. Spoon falls into that category of bands that I've seen more than 5 times, which is rare. Every festival I've attended when they are playing I dip in and catch their full set, and every local show I'm attending no matter who they are...

Thanks Mark. Spoon falls into that category of bands that I've seen more than 5 times, which is rare. Every festival I've attended when they are playing I dip in and catch their full set, and every local show I'm attending no matter who they are playing with.

I think this comp does it's job as far as giving a handful of good to great Spoon songs, but I'd have added songs like "Don't Make Me a Target" arguably one of the greatest opening tracks for an album post-2000, and from "A Series of Sneaks" the following:

Reservations
Minor Tough
Car Radio
Execution

To date, the Pavement comp "Quarantine the Past" is the best compilation for a modern indie rock band. Spanning all albums, deep cuts and hits. More should follow that approach.

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