The debut album plays very much as 2000’s era nostalgia, almost like an extended play of the infamous ‘Hot Fuss’. Tracks ‘Chevy Thunder’ and ‘Celestine’ certainly make for enjoyable, if a little vapid listening, while ‘No Adventure’ and ‘Twenty nothing’s unhappy observations are cut from the best of The Killers’ playbook. A strong album, if only surface deep.
Forming the complexity that makes Specotrs discography so interesting then, is sophomore Moth Boys. If ‘Enjoy it while it lasts’ is sweet and superficial “bubblegum” pop, Moth Boys is bitter, bittersweet. The lyrical skill moves from catchy lyrics to true poetry, kept clean with smooth synths, where every line can be appreciated as its own piece - “I thought we’d be an item - ad infinitum”. ‘Believe’, ‘Lately it's you’, are excellent in this regard.
It’s the duality, chiaroscuro-esque switches from pop to prose that mean you can only listen as the discography turns into something more, a layered complex of dreams, cynical remarks and vain hopes, compounded by sad self-reflection, forming the very real personality of a young person muddling through it all. Whether that's an incredibly pompous interpretation or not (it is - I’m sorry), I want to express how Spector’s humanity makes any listening experience a calming and thoughtful experience, whether you're up on high or down and out.
So with an identity defined by its juxtapositional nature, Spector cement themselves with the 3rd album, Non-Fiction. This time a blend of the earlier albums, firmly taking aim at this modern life of relationship statuses, fiat 500s and bloody expensive train tickets. Sure, some observations are more than a little jaded and pretentious, but we should all be self aware enough to recognize our own thoughts personified in the lead singers crooning baritone. Live, however, lead Fred MacPherson’s voice changes to fill the whole room with energy and optimism, the heartfelt songs and big personality on stage easily pulling the crowd in.
Basically, if you want bangers, they've got bangers, but equally if the autumn leaves are turning to mush and you've been left uncuffed out in the cold, Spector is gonna be there to remind you that past sad grads and difficult phonecalls, those untempered joys and memories of yesteryear are just a shuffle away. Just don't listen to 'Celestine', or you’ll be back to square one over that ex.