A must for any fan of contemplative post-punk/rock.
Gemma Padley 2007-12-07
Austin band Spoon have always managed to maintain an enigmatic appeal despite a large chunk of their musical output being used in the commercial arena (frontman Britt Daniel is believed to have co-written the music for the film Stranger Than Fiction and the band recorded the majority of the soundtrack); Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga – album number six – sees Spoon remain true to form. A perplexing affair, it is, at times, shadowy and bleak, and others, bright and outward looking.
Album opener “Don’t Make Me A Target” has a disconcerting Eels feel – whether this is down to Daniel’s rough-edged, slightly downhearted voice or pensive lyrics (‘I believe there’s someone to take care of me tonight’) is hard to determine, but Eels undertones are audible nonetheless; a gentle introduction to an elegiac album filled with the ghosts of music past and streaked with nostalgia.
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is an album that flows seamlessly from brighter songs to more downbeat introspective tracks, revealing the many fractured sides of a highly underestimated, versatile group. “The Ghost Of You Lingers” slumps along with shrugging defiance – one of the more instantly memorable tracks – while “The Underdog”, steeped in heavy self-indulgent emotion, is darker and more helpless than others. “Rhythm And Blues” provides a funkier moment that passes all too speedily.
Some may say a Spoon album takes time to warm up; with Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga this is true in that it strolls along steadily and with a laid-back nonchalance that is typically Spoon in style. Before too long, what seems like a brief sojourn into Spoon-ville comes to an abrupt end. “Finer Feelings” is a sixties rock-inspired ditty that bundles and capers its way along with the frequent sound of triumphant brass lending a carnival-esque flare – a fitting preview to the Motown-infused final track, “Black Like Me”.
In short, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga should have made bigger waves than it did on its release. A must for any fan of contemplative post-punk/rock, file alongside Elvis Costello and your record collection will thank you for months to come.