11 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

How exactly does Spoon do it? Their music overflows with invention, but never sounds cluttered or labored. It’s ambitious and intricate, yet immediately accessible. It’s sarcastic and cheeky, but often soulful and substantive. That Britt Daniel and company are able to pull off this trick is cause for celebration, but their ability to do it so consistently and, it would seem, so effortlessly, is reason for awe. Once again representing all that is good about indie rock — enthusiasm, intelligence, creativity, integrity — Spoon offers, like clockwork, 10 nearly perfect songs in 36 nearly perfect minutes. Daniel’s lyrics, still as cock-eyed as they are pithy, continue to explore the corridors between love and loneliness, evident on the infectious pop-soul of “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb,” the dub-crazy clank of “Eddie’s Ragga,” and the bittersweet folk-rock of “Black Like Me.” Occasionally, however, he looks beyond his own heart. On “The Underdog,” for example, a buoyant mini-anthem powered by bright acoustic guitars and punchy horns, Daniel’s message to “the haves” is succinct and unswerving: “You got no fear of the underdog, that’s why you will not survive.” Six albums down the line, Spoon’s finely crafted songs and sonic ingenuity still astound.

EDITORS’ NOTES

How exactly does Spoon do it? Their music overflows with invention, but never sounds cluttered or labored. It’s ambitious and intricate, yet immediately accessible. It’s sarcastic and cheeky, but often soulful and substantive. That Britt Daniel and company are able to pull off this trick is cause for celebration, but their ability to do it so consistently and, it would seem, so effortlessly, is reason for awe. Once again representing all that is good about indie rock — enthusiasm, intelligence, creativity, integrity — Spoon offers, like clockwork, 10 nearly perfect songs in 36 nearly perfect minutes. Daniel’s lyrics, still as cock-eyed as they are pithy, continue to explore the corridors between love and loneliness, evident on the infectious pop-soul of “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb,” the dub-crazy clank of “Eddie’s Ragga,” and the bittersweet folk-rock of “Black Like Me.” Occasionally, however, he looks beyond his own heart. On “The Underdog,” for example, a buoyant mini-anthem powered by bright acoustic guitars and punchy horns, Daniel’s message to “the haves” is succinct and unswerving: “You got no fear of the underdog, that’s why you will not survive.” Six albums down the line, Spoon’s finely crafted songs and sonic ingenuity still astound.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
785 Ratings

785 Ratings

acorvey ,

Rock & Awe

With the release of "Gimme Fiction" in 2005, I was convinced Spoon had made their masterpiece. It was the perfect combination of previously established elements: the sketch-like song structure and wild experimentation of 2002's "Kill the Moonlight" coupled with the flat-out cathartic pop of 2001's "Girls Can Tell." The songs (penned by vocalist/guitarist Britt Daniel) were simple and direct, yet imbued with an intensity of emotion not often found in modern music (or at least not as genuinely). The record was Daniel's shining moment as a songwriter; his definitive musical statement, one I thought he'd struggle to re-create throughout the rest of his sure to be long career. I never dreamt in a million years that he'd somehow surpass it. Especially on the follow up album.

"Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" is that culmination, a record of monumental emotional depth that also manages to genuinely rock. While listening to tracks like the Jon Brion produced "The Underdog," it's apparent that Spoon is yet again breaking new ground, opening up their sound and exploring new territory while still adhering to the tried and true "Spoon" philosophy: simple and direct song-writing that packs an emotional punch. If you're tired of the vacuous music populating today's airwaves then give "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" a spin. You won't be disappointed.

Limey Brit ,

Undoubtably 2007's Best Record Yet...

Beautifully produced and tastefully mixed; while everyone else still somehow get caught up in the usual studio bombast, Spoon continue to treat record-making as high art, treating the ears of the discerning listener and laying the gauntlet to other artists as something to truly aspire toward. Listen with a good set of headphones.

chr!s ,

Four and a Half Solid Stars

Paying extra close attention to detail can be either a gift or a curse, and can be the bane of any band hoping to achieve success. Many bands fear selling out, so trade in their pop sounds with slower string accompiniments (see Sum41's new album); many bands fear their music isn't different enough, or is too different, or sounds too much like somebody else, and end up scraping entire ideas in the process that would have worked just fine (see Maroon 5's new album), and yet some bands still don't understand that paying close attention to detail could have benefitted their music as a whole. It seems to be a precarious chore, figuring out "who" you are as a band; Spoon, however, seem to have this all figured out.

On their newest release, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (maybe a little more attention should have been paid towards the album title, perhaps?), Spoon find themselves reinventing their sound subtly, while still being the great indie pop-rock band that we all may not know, but surely could love. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga will provide for Spoon much in the same way Good News did for Modest Mouse, boosting their fan base dramatically, while also propelling them into mainstream success. This is the 4th good-to-great album Spoon has released since 2001, all of which garnered further cult following, but Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga will prove to be something more for Spoon. With their precisely defined and purposeful sound, Spoon's latest release will surely bring them the mainstream attention they have been nearly-deserving for half a decade. With this release, Spoon need not fear that they will only be remembered for one quirky song on an OC mixtape, which will shall not divulge any further about here.

All of the songs on Spoon's Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga serve their particular purpose, and most do it well. The opening track, Don't Make Me a Target, begins with a 1-2 punch of guitar chords and Britt Daniels catchy, addictive lyricism, and then remains stuck with you for quite a while. If you manage to not keep the track on repeat, you'll be disappointed yet intrigued by the following track, The Ghost of You Lingers, which sounds like Britt Daniels has fallen asleep at the mic, and mumbles something about something (the lyrics are purposely mixed to the back) to instrumentals you could imagine were mixed by LCD Soundsystem. Then comes a new cult favorite, You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb, which as soon as its hook and catchy lyrics drag you in, manages to spit you back out.

And on and on goes Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, pummeling the listener with brilliant pop track followed by even more brilliant pop tracks, until the cd ends after 10 quick songs and 36 brief, yet satisfying, minutes. The standout track on the album is The Underdog, their most catchy track since The Way We Get By (well, I had to mention it eventually, didn't I?), and is the first song that Spoon has written that actually WARNS you about their slow yet deliberate ascension into the mainstream, "You got no fear of the underdog/thats why you will not survive!" If the song were a screenplay, the chorus would be followed by the direction, "Cue Trumpets!". Another stand out track is Finer Feelings, in which Britt Daniels weeps about not finding love (what else is new!?), but once again entraps you with the most addictive hooks and lyrics any band out there can make.

All hail Spoon, Underdog kings who have crafted not only the best summer soundtrack for 2007, but the most brilliant pop-rock record of this year, possibly even the decade. Unless, of course, we can expect an even better record from these Brits in 2009?

Overall Rating: Four and a Half Stars

Essential Tracks:
Underdog
Don't Make Me A Target
Finer Feelings
Don't You Evah
Rhythm & Soul
Black Like Me

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