Sporting an energetic new wave sheen, Arias & Symphonies gave the Spoons the audience they were looking for, coming up short with their debut, Stick Figure Neighbourhood, which was adopted mainly by college radio stations. On Arias, the synthesizers are used to the best of their techno pop abilities, giving "Nova Heart" its perfectly inundated shyness and Human League-like appeal. The title track is a well-orchestrated barrage of guitar and melody with a wonderfully sped up pace, while "Smiling in Winter" dabbles in its moodiness and effective low-key structure. Succeeding in sounding left of center to some extent, Arias & Symphonies combines songwriting that is a wee bit sharper than a lot of other new wave music that existed at the time, as well as tight musical composition that doesn't rely solely on the gleam of the synthesizer to see it through. It's on this album and on Talkback, the album that followed, in which the Spoons exhibit their pop-flavored talents the best.
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AllMusic Review by Mike DeGagne