"Hot Thoughts" is the ninth studio album by American indie rock band Spoon. It was released on March 17, 2017, through Matador Records and is their first album to be released on the label since their 1996 debut album, Telephono. It is also the first Spoon album since 2002's Kill the Moonlight to not feature multi-instrumentalist Eric Harvey, who quietly left the band after finishing a world tour in support of 2014's They Want My Soul.
At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 80, based on 25 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Assigning a narrative concept to Hot Thoughts may be going a bit far at this early date, but there certainly seems to be a throughline of lyrics here. There’s the intense rush of their early days on the album’s top half and the crumbling of “Tear it Down” and “Shotgun”, plus the fact that the melancholy instrumental that finishes the record is called “Us”. Historically Britt Daniel’s lyrics cover a lot of territory, so the fact that this album seems to exclusively be about relationships is telling.
Regardless of concept, though, Hot Thoughts is another top notch record for Spoon. It may be their best since Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, which is saying something because They Want My Soul was also really damn good. The melodies here, both vocal and instrumental, seem to be stickier across the board. The sonic tweaks from Fridmann, mostly in the keyboard tones, are almost wholly successful, even in the rambling “Pink Up” and “Us”. The album strikes almost the perfect balance between traditional songs and adventurous sounds, which makes it stand out in Spoon’s extensive catalog of great albums. --- popmatters.com User Comments