Spencer Sings The Hits

Jon Spencer

In The Red Records, 2018


REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Taking a temporary break from the Blues Explosion, Jon Spencer doesn’t deviate much from his overall musical plan on this solo record. One would swear that opening track “Do The Trash Can” was an old Blues Explosion outtake. It’s not a bad track but it is a little weak. On the other hand, “Fake” is anything but weak, a diatribe against all the lame musicians out there peddling their cheap wares on a public willing to be fed a load of garbage. Spencer speaks the truth and if anyone was willing to hear it, maybe they might believe the gospel he is consistently preaching.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The downside to the record is the overall electronic feel to it. It’s not in an Imagine Dragons way, but by pulling away from the forceful guttural guitar work he’s always been known for, it’s easy to become a bit bored with the album. Aside from “Fake” and “Ghost,” which has more of a combination between the guitar and the electronic, there isn’t a whole heck of a lot here that really stands out and makes the hair on your arms stand up. Even “Love Handle,” which is one of the livelier tracks here, isn’t enough to repeat multiple listens.

Some tracks like “Hornet” just feel half-assed and seemingly made up on the spot and lacking in a lot of creativity and imagination, something you wouldn’t normally accuse Spencer of. Towards the end of the record is when things start to drag and one gets a bit bored with the proceedings. I haven’t said that before in regards to other Spencer projects, but just the idea of him, alone with synths isn’t very satisfying and leaves a lot to be desired. All in all, Spencer Sings The Hits is a very disappointing record and one I hope he doesn’t try again. It’s better off to stick with what you do best.

Rating: C-

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