Spencer being Spencer

By SAM PFEIFLE  |  July 18, 2013

This isn’t a big sing-along record, though. It’s pop, but it’s sans bubblegum, that’s for sure. The irony is thick in places, and you’ll have some hard time deciding whether the “la, la, la” backing vocals on the closing “Kiss Me Like a Stranger” are meant to be mocking. “Have you ever had sex for money?” Spencer asks, “and have you ever lied for fun?”

Are those meant to be equivalent? Does he care if you have?

It’s clear that it no longer matters what other people think. Who doesn’t want to be loved for who they are? Who doesn’t wish they had it better?

“Macworth” is Beatles pop, but with digital nods and an edge. It is caveat as artform: “I’d do anything that you’d ask/Within reason/I’d do anything at all.” Well, which is it? Is this all-in, or is there another level Spencer hasn’t explored yet?

I suspect this is just the dawn of a new era. There are still studio crutches here that could be cast aside. There are still glasses on his vision. But the best thing about each Spencer iteration is that we get indelible evidence he walked past. From “Two Feet” to “So Good” to “Florida Sunshine” to “Big Old House” to “iRok” to Spose’s “Into Spose,” if Spencer hasn’t left you something to remember him by now, you just haven’t been listening. 

SPENCER | Released by Spencer | with Brenda | at Port City Music Hall, in Portland | July 20 | facebook.com/spencer.albee

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: CD Reviews , Spencer Albee
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY SAM PFEIFLE
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   ME AND MY GRANDMA  |  April 17, 2014
    There’s no question that Rob Schreiber’s Standard Issue play the hits.
  •   SO LONG, SLAINTE  |  April 16, 2014
    Why would so many lament a little venue with sightlines that make Fenway Park look wide open?
  •   THE INVINCIBLE OLAS  |  April 09, 2014
    The band have newly created Cada Nueva Ola , as rollicking as any family dinner table.
  •   DIGGING UP THE PAST  |  April 04, 2014
    Now Tumbling Bones have followed Ghost’s release earlier this year with a full-length debut of their own, equally impressive in its construction and execution.
  •   WHISTLING PAST THE GRAVEYARD  |  March 28, 2014
    The various instruments employed (mostly acoustic, in flavors of folk, gospel, and early blues) serve their purpose well: as a platform for Barrett to showcase her considerable vocal talents.

 See all articles by: SAM PFEIFLE