By: Chris Pacifico
It's now official: Spoon is huge. Sure, it took them thirteen years and six albums to pull it off but that in no way implies any of their previous work was less than stellar. With Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge), Austin's new favorite sons still retain their pop nihilist ethos - the songs are indeed pop-ish - but all filler has been trimmed and seldom does a track go past the three and a half minute mark.
Their skeletal songs, sung in the crotchety voice of singer-guitarist Britt Daniel, have almost always had no pep but are catchy enough to warm up icy bottomless pits that are a music critic's hearts, not to mention highly opinionated fans. With its sly melodies and hooks, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga can be serve as a sort of Pepsi challenge to your friends that have never heard Spoon before. Play them just ten minutes of the album and if they aren't sucked in then they're probably the type of person that wouldn't come to the aid of a helpless, injured pedestrian on the side of the road. It's a pretty safe assumption that those who didn't at least try to catch Spoon's set at Bonnaroo this year committed a major party foul.
Eric Harvey's frugal piano and the overall rickety rhythms give Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga a skeletal axis around the Rolling Stones' Between the Buttons and Pavement's Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain but with more murky jangles.
Producer Mick McCarthy did an exquisite job of etching out the fortified sound on "You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb," while "Don't You Evah" flows with the hip sashay of an early Henry Mancini track. "Eddie's Raga" sneaks in a tad of Merseybeat, while "The Underdog" is an utterly flawless, head-bobbing infusion of cha cha horns. You'll hear a lot of buzz about a lot of bands and a lot of albums in 2007 but Spoon's latest is a canny pop showpiece to go gaga over.
JamBase | Texas
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