In just a few weeks, The Fire Note will publish its writers’ favorites and picks for the best releases of the year, and it’ll be no surprise to find Spoon’s Lucifer on the Sofa near the top of my list. The “Headphone Approved” release has been nominated for a Grammy in the Best Rock Album category, earning significant attention for the album’s singles, “The Hardest Cut,” “Wild,” and “My Babe.” The Austin band spent a fair chunk of the summer out on tour with Interpol, sharing the headline bill on the “Lights, Camera, Factions” Tour, and now has released this reworking of their original album by remix master and dub producer Adrian Sherwood.
Besides all the expected echo and reverb, Sherwood has done a lot more than turn up the bass and drums, and bringing some of the song’s more subtle instrumentation to the fore. There’s some lovely flute adding to the floating ambiance of “My Babe,” some hot, bluesy harmonica to “On the Radio,” brings horns into play on “The Devil & Mr. Jones” and the title track. There’s some congas and additional bass, drums and percussion sprinkled here and there, Sherwood draws out some less obvious parts of the original recordings, as well as revisioning the songs with additional instrumentation. Of course, as with any experiment, not everything works as well as the original; “The Hardest Cut” loses a lot of its guitar tension in favor of some hot harmonica and is shortened to a mere 2 minutes. But generally, Sherwood’s take emphasizes an aspect of a song’s melody or framing that you may not of noticed previously, or as in the case of “Satellite,” reinvents the song entirely with added strings, etc.
For Spoon fans, Lucifer On The Moon is a fun addition, providing fresh perspective on these songs and their original recordings, but it’s no alternative for the real thing when push comes to shove.
“My Babe (Adrian Sherwood Reconstruction)” / “On The Radio (Adrian Sherwood Reconstruction)” / “The Devil & Mr. Jones (Adrian Sherwood Reconstruction)”
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