Song of the Day: “Hot Thoughts”

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Happy hump day LemonWire readers! Today, we’ll once again be looking at another song from Spoon’s upcoming greatest hits compilation, “Everything Hits at Once”. Our song of the day, “Hot Thoughts” comes from Spoon’s 2017 album of the same name.

So far this week, we’ve looked at two other songs from Spoon’s upcoming greatest hits album. On Monday, we talked about their recent single, “No Bullets Spent”, which was released to promote “Everything Hits at Once”. Then, yesterday, we looked at “The Underdog” from their 2007 album, “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga”.

While we usually don’t stick to one artist over the course of the week, in the case of Spoon, we’re making a bit of an exception. Each song we look at this week will come from a different album in Spoon’s discography in order to provide a wide view of their music.

So before we get into the song itself, let’s take a look at the album it appeared on.

Hot Thoughts (Album)

“Hot Thoughts” is Spoon’s ninth and most recent studio album. It was released in 2017 on Matador Records, the old label with whom Spoon released their debut, “Telephono” on back in 1996, and hadn’t worked with since.

The choice turned out to be a good one, as “Hot Thoughts” went on to receive very positive reviews. On Metacritic, the album has a score of 82, out of thirty critic reviews. The album also did well commercially, and peaked at No. 17 on the U.S. Billboard 200.

As far as the album’s content goes, Spoon managed to maintain their reliable knack for songwriting, while at the same time adding in experimental electronic elements to their sound. As a result, the songs sound both familiar and strange. It’s not an easy thing for bands to do, but Spoon pulls off the balancing act well.

Hot Thoughts (Song)

“Hot Thoughts” is both the eponymous lead single, as well as the first track on the album. It serves as a catchy introduction to the sound Spoon is going for, and is just a solid single on its own.

If there’s one thing that stands out more than anything in “Hot Thoughts”, its the high level of production quality. Each instrument and voice delivers a unique tone that simultaneously makes it stand on its own, and merge seamlessly with the others. From the wavering synths, to the tinkling bells, to the fuzz-filled crunch of the lead guitar, deconstructing the composition of “Hot Thoughts” could serve as a masterclass in songwriting on its own.

Lyrics

The lyrics to “Hot Thoughts” are at times somewhat clear in meaning, and at others, nothing short of puzzling. But in all honesty, that makes analyzing them all the more fun. So let’s take a look at the first verse, and go from there.

“Hot thoughts melt in my mind
Could be your accent mixing with mine
You got me uptight, twisting inside
Hot thoughts all in my mind and all of the time, babe”

More than in other Spoon albums, sex seems to be a topic that is explored more in songs like “Hot Thoughts”. The connotations of “hot” thoughts, along with the lyrics being directed at a significant other, both seem to point in the direction of coitus.

And then we get the third verse, where the energy level dips down before building back up, and the lyrics get a bit ethereal.

“Took time off from my kingdom
Took a break from the war
Took time off from my kingdom
Raise up my creatures
Diamonds from space
Pure facets and features”

The first three lines could be commenting on taking a break from songwriting, or the pressures of the music industry. In the context of the song, this could refer to opening up more time to be with a significant other. The last three lines are more puzzling, and come off as a non-sequitur. The only potential connection I could take a stab at that makes sense would be if these lines refer to starting a family or raising children. But even that doesn’t completely fit. If anyone reading this has an alternative interpretation, I’d love to hear your take in the comments below.

Final Thoughts

“Hot Thoughts” was the album that Spoon was touring for when I first saw them live in concert. As such, it remains one of my personal favorites. I hope you enjoyed this close look at another Spoon single. And if not, the week’s almost over, so you won’t have to endure it for much longer.

That finishes up our discussion for today. Tomorrow, we’ll be back with another song from Spoon’s upcoming greatest hits album, “Everything Hits at Once”.

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