Austin rockers Spoon return from a four-year break heavy one member — Alex Fischel, of frontman Britt Daniel’s side project Divine Fits — but still light on their feet on their urgent new album, “They Want My Soul.”
Produced by Joe Chiccarelli (My Morning Jacket) and Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips), the brisk 38-minute, 10-song collection brims with sideways guitar pluck and twang, warbly keys, and earwormy tunes that demand immediate repeated listens.
From the restless tambourine jangle of “Rainy Taxi” through the simultaneous ruminative and bouncy “Inside Out” and on to the brooding rumble and churn of “Outlier” the band is in solid garage-pop shape, and back on the same page after a hiatus filled by members branching out into side projects.
“Do You” hits a high-water mark of tunefulness and clatter, where Tom Petty/Replacements-style buoyancy is leavened with a welcome undertow of melancholy. And the blues-kissed waltz-time tune “I Just Don’t Understand” ponders the timeless quandary of one-sided love. (“You said that you need me like the ocean needs sand, but the way you mistreat me I just don’t understand.”) (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “Do You”
Spoon plays the Boston Calling Music Festival at City Hall Plaza on Sept. 7.