Jul 11, 2007

Spoon, Glorious Spoon; Or I'm Ga Ga Over Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

I sometimes wonder why Spoon isn't the biggest band in the world. A band that produces song after glorious song surely deserves a bigger audience. Not that I am complaining too heavily. It is sometimes nice when one of your favourite bands can exist on a loving label, Merge, and be allowed to make music without the tentacles of a major label encroaching on their music. Well now is the winter of our content, "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" is here and happiness reigned through out the land. This surely will be the one. But in a world where Good Charlotte is king, maybe not. Before I review this platter of extreme pleasure, my thoughts on this quartet of sublime musicians.

For no reason in particular I am not a lifelong Spoon devotee. Actually I hadn't heard of them until "Kill the Moonlight". In fact that album did not impress me greatly upon first listen (I know, hard to believe), but slowly it crept up on me and I realised its beauty eventually. Just in time to buy "Gimme Fiction" which would become my favourite Spoon release. It is a monster of a record, pulling every string of rock and soul greatness. Actually that's what I think Spoon are. A rock and soul band. So after devoting myself to this band I started my journey. "Girls Can Tell" with its delicious grooves hooked me in. "A Series of Sneaks" was a glimpse into their genesis. Its Pixies' like riffs were as Magnet descibed "This isn't an album, it's a knifefight". I completed my collection with the even rockier "Telephono" plus the EPs "Soft Effects" and "Love Ways". My love affair was complete. What makes them so special? Hard to say sometimes. They don't have that bleed your emotions all over the place quality (like Okkervil River, Wolf Parade), they aren't lyrically complex (like The Mountain Goats) or wildly experimental (like Animal Collective). But they write superb and soulful songs that always have great structure containing absolutely infectious hooks and sophisticated rhythms. The musicianship is superb and above it all is Britt Daniel's husky, smoky, truly engaging voice. They are truly and utterly a totally satisfying meal of musical greatness.

Well now, "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" is another chapter in the Spoon story. I have to say it is as fine a piece of work that they have produced. I still believe "Gimme Fiction"'s highs just out do it but this release is probably their most well rounded. It is concise, exquisite and has that quality you desire in a piece of music- play me again and again and I promise you will never get sick of me. A smile will grow on your face from the opening bars of "Don't Make Me a Target" and stay right through to the end. In fact the opening bars of "Target" will instantly give you goose bumps. It is undeniably Spoon and when Britt plaintively states "Don't Make Me a Target" you feel your spine shiver. A great song to kick off and then an untypical song follows. "The Ghost of You Lingers" which is all eery piano and vocals, but by the finish has crept under your skin. The tambourine on "You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb" announces more joy. A sweet delight of a song it also introduces horns to the mix. If you desire soulful swagger there is the almost funky "Don't You Evah" and "Rhthm & Soul" (maybe they aren't perfect, what's with the spelling) or you can have the impossible to resist "The Underdog" (complete with mariachis). However, if it is possible my three favourite tracks are the last three. "My Little Japanese Cigarette Case" is deceptively simple but has an irresistible momentum. "Finer Feelings" is classic Spoon and the guitar piece in the middle is absolutely divine. Then when Britt sings "I believed that someone'd take care of me tonight" at the beginning of "Black Like Me" you really feel the need to hug someone, straight away. This album is pure joy, so enjoyable, so delectable. The band has never sounded better. The drumming is superbly tight and Mr Daniel's voice is as luxurious and awe inspiring as ever. Buy this now, you will not regret it.

MP3: The Underdog
Pitchfork just reviewed the album and gave it a well deserved 8.5
And, are you sitting down, in another article about tour dates the following statement was made " Oh, and Australian dates are on the way". Does anyone know of this happening? Also do you love the new album as much as I?


  • At July 12, 2007 , Blogger Oz said...

    Looking at Spoon's tour dates I'm hoping they come around late August/early September between their European and American dates cos otherwise I won't be able to see them.

  • At July 13, 2007 , Anonymous anne said...

    I was looking forward to more "The Ghost of You Lingers"-type of songs, but now that I've heard it a couple times through...it's a lovely piece of work. Loved how you described their old material & the new record.

    I always thought Spoon was a pretty big band. Good Charlotte is king? since when?

  • At July 14, 2007 , Blogger James said...

    This album is tops man. LOVE it! Nice write up - and Spoon should be the biggest band in the world. Do you like this more than Handsome Furs?

  • At July 14, 2007 , Blogger Wayne said...

    Anne- I think Spoon are big in the music world but I think they still haven't dented the mainstream. I can't stand Good Charlotte but they do seem to sell a lot of records, unfortunately.

    James- I think Handsome Furs is still my number one but Spoon isn't far behind and The National probably next.


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