The title track of Hot Thoughts starts like a Kraftwerk tune: electronic drone, metronomic beats and clipped robotic vocals. Then the guitars crash in, and you're reminded almost no one engineers post-punk propulsion into precision-tuned rock-and-roll melody better than Spoon auteur Britt Daniel. Nearly 25 years in, his group has made maybe their best record yet – a line that been repeated, accurately enough, with most every record they've made.
WithFlaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann on board, the set is as lushly trippy as itis rhythmically hyped, apropos a band named for a song by psychedelic Seventies beatscientists Can. "We come to mesmerize," Daniel chants over the floatation-tankvibraphone funk of "Pink Up" (a slogan for the next Women’s March?). Berlin-eraBowie is a clear touchstone: see "First Caress," Sharon Van Etten swirlingsomewhere in the mix and "Can I Sit Next to You," with its Arabic-scentedsynth flourishes. Dub breaks, Giorgio Moroder disco pulses and post-rockabstractions bubble up and recede. But Daniel, still a brilliantly ruthlesseditor, keeps things taut and antsy, even on the closer "Us," a five-minuteambient free-jazz space-out that gives you time to grab another drink, hitrepeat and dive back into the groove.