One of my favorite tracks from probably the most consistent band of the ’00s. I see them as having followed a Beatles-esque trajectory – they released a few poppy albums that were solid but didn’t break any molds, then Gimme Fiction was their Rubber Soul (moving in a new, more complex direction, but retaining some old qualities), Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga was their Revolver (getting weirder while remaining amazing pop-rock), and Transference their Sgt. Pepper (embracing full-blown weirdness, doing things few, if any, people have done before with the genre). This version of “Written In Reverse” isn’t quite as smoothly mixed as the studio version, and lacks some of the flourishes like the weird background piano at parts, but it’s very cool to see the band at work together like this, something that I feel has declined recently in the music world.
One of the standout tracks from Spoon’s great (best?) album, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, released in 2007, “The Underdog” shows Spoon sticking to their guitar-driven sound, with the addition of some cheery horns. The song is remarkably light and even danceable, despite the somewhat dark lyrics, telling someone of the fate that awaits them if they don’t start being more considerate. The video is cool, although it doesn’t necessarily break any ground with the one-take format, and it concerns a seemingly long-suffering studio producer checking up on various aspects of the band’s recording of the song, which has people hidden all over the studio playing different instruments.