The world is plagued with pardoners, shucks and saviours, and they’re all bearing down on Britt Daniel.
“Outlier” is the innermost song on the new Spoon record, which, let’s not forget, is titled They Want My Soul. The song serves up an old villain, Jonathon Fisk, about whose beliefs it was previously sung, “Religion don’t mean a thing – it’s just another way to be right-wing.”
A little earlier in the album, just after the raucous call-to-arms that is “Rent I Pay”, comes the shimmering, sultry “Inside Out“, which plays worship against true devotion – to love, that is. Spinning and stretching and contorting his voice around a groove that looks back to the best of 1990s R&B, Daniel rails against a global theism that has upended the laws of physics. He hints at the temptations religion lays at our feet, to sacrifice cold logic at the altar of blind faith. In the song’s key lyrics, he sings:
“I don’t got time for holy rollers
But then they wash my feet
And I won’t be their soldier.”
The arrangement – a too-perfect harp that wends its way through the song, abutted by intense, stirring pads – might be a reflection on the ease with which we submit to irrational beauty. The unyielding beat, a subtle modulation of that favoured by Mark Morrison in “Return of the Mack”, is its antithesis – the “intense gravity” that keeps Daniel rooted; a satellite to his heartthrob.
Hear it; bask in the trippy, melting visuals that meddle with your perceptions.