Thursday, January 19, 2006

Bestest of 2005 #5: Spoon- Gimme Fiction

To me, Kill the Moonlight is one of the bench mark albums of the early 00's underground. Literally, from the first SECOND I heard the guitar intro to "Small Stakes," I was sold on Spoon. Every song was so goddamn catchy and strange at the same time. Minimal to their core but poppy and immediate, with Britt Daniel's smoky voice and strange, surreal lyrics setting a mood that can only be described with contradictory adjectives and metaphors. Basically, the perfect album for its time and place: 2002.

Gimme Fiction was supposed to be the band's coming out party, the one that would turn them into minor indie rock celebrities. And even if it didn't do that, it did prove to be a worthy, if slightly inferior follow up that was still good enough to be one of the best albums in a year that saw some incredible releases. This album is Spoon finding its unique sound, mixing much of the sparse minimalism of Kill with the more complex layering and pure pop of Girls Can Tell. The first comparison that comes to mind is John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band, with its somber, ominous story telling and dark mood. However, like Plastic this is also one that sounds full of hope. Britt Daniel's vocals are the real star here, showing off his suddenly expanded range on songs like "Turn my Camera On" and "The Beast and Dragon Adored" where he launches into falsetto at several points. And what about "Turn my Camera On?" Was that one of the greatest songs of 2005 or fucking what? Spoon's M.O. seems to include having at least one unbelievably catchy song per album at least, and with Camera this album was no different.

the combination of better singing (although Daniel was already an amazing vocalist) and a band that seems more confident and comfortable in its own skin than ever before made Gimme Fiction feel like a record by a band in its prime. The album that I bet 10 years from now the band will call its favorite. Although not as immediately gripping as Moonlight, no one has a sound quite like Spoon, and they're doing exactly what the fuck they want without for one second giving in to the industry snakes that know as well as the band does that Spoon could probably write top ten singles in its sleep. Instead, they continue to challenge listeners and make it a pleasure to accept their dare.


Blogger wakka-wakka said...

True. Yet their videos seem to get worse and worse.

3:23 PM  

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