Friday, June 01, 2007

Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga by Spoon

I'm a lucky man. Having managed to get my hands on Spoon's forthcoming record ahead of schedule, I've been privileged enough to have had it in my headphones all morning. And for fans who, like me, have been waiting breathlessly for the follow-up to 2005's Gimme Fiction and 2003's Kill the Moonlight, it is a wonderful pleasure to reveal that none of us will be disappointed. Spoon have, once again, delivered a stone cold classic. Whether this is the record will be the one to delver Spoon to the unwashed masses is debatable, as Spoon are perhaps too wilful, artistic, intelligent and (dare I say) good to ever achieve any international acclaim on the level that Coldplay enjoy or Snow Patrol are enjoying, it seems that everything Britt Daniel and Co. seem to touch has turned to gold over the past five years.

With titles such as 'You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb', 'Don't You Evah', 'Rhthm and Soul' and 'Black Like Me', it would seem clear that Daniel has immersed himself in hip-hop and been relentlessly texting his friends for the past two years. However, nothing could be further from the truth, with Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga feeling like it is exactly in the right place at the right time, the natural successor to it's two older siblings, with the only possible reference to 'black' music being the presence of a horn section on 'The Underdog'. What certainly remains is the band's uncanny ability to convert sparse, clean production into songs of great depth and atmosphere, merely with the single strum of guitar, burst of random noise recordings or series of hand claps (as heard on the contender for song of the year 'Finer Feelings').

In fact, small bursts of hitherto unheard instruments are an ongoing trend on Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, be it Piano tinkles ('Don't Make Me a Target'), distorted vocals ('The Ghost of You Lingers', which is by far the greatest departure from 'Old Spoon', and one of the best songs on the album) or xylophone and horns ('You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb'), and that's just the first three tracks.

While probably failing to scale the lofty heights of predecessor Gimme Fiction, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga more than ably maintains a standard of excellence for Spoon that any band would kill for.

4 1/2 stars

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