Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

It started with the title. God bless ‘em for wanting to do it their way, or specifically Britt Daniel’s, but the shitty title is something that someone should have insisted and said “There’s no fucking way you’re titling your breakthrough album something that stupid-sounding.”
But in reality, maybe Spoon understands that their sixth album was going to be their breakthrough album, regardless of how stupid the title. The problem for me is that Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga doesn’t sound much like a “breakthrough” album; it sounds like another decent Spoon album that’ll probably reach a wider audience because, well, because they’re good enough that they deserve a wider audience.
It helps immensely that Daniel’s is able to come up with some awesome singles to throw into a mix of Spoon standards that are heavy on Rubber Soul-era Beatles and the fitted-shirt-n-skinny-tie new wave tightness.
Those “awesome” songs (“You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb,” “Black Like Me,” “Finer Feelings,” “The Underdog”) are so blatantly infectious and smart that it would be foolish to dismiss G5 entirely. That means the remaining six albums are derivative of their own catalog or just barely noticeable for me to even care.
“The Ghost Of You Lingers” goes on for at least 90 seconds too long with the whole staccato piano minimalism and “My Little Japanese Cigarette Case” actually pushes Spoon into a new category: pretentiousness. The album starts out promising with “Don’t Make Me A Target” before you realize that all of the song’s initial eeriness is complete destroyed with Daniel’s bored-sounding refrain of the title, over and over and over.
“You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb” reminds me of that old Jo Boxers’ song “Just Got Lucky” and “The Underdog” is wonderful with its sassy horns and acoustic guitar. I don’t mind these moments of clear, intentional commercial pop because 1.) It sounds like Spoon and 2.) Sounding like Spoon is still a pretty unique thing. With a few more of these replacing the album’s weaker moments, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga not only would be Spoon’s breakthrough album, it would sound like it too.

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