For quite a while there, Spoon were one of my favorite bands. I fell for the band’s earlier material and when the band reemerged on Merge in 2001 with Girls Can Tell and 2002 with Kill The Moonlight that simply sealed the deal. Then the band took a three year break until 2005’s Gimme Fiction. Despite critical acclaim, as a fan I was left longing for something more from the band. Gimme Fiction, while strong, seemed to be treading water. Quite frankly, Spoon did not seem to be pushing those same boundaries they once had been. Perhaps, this is why I have been sitting on Spoon’s latest album, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, for close to three months now. I wanted to give this album more than fair shot.
Although seemingly more upbeat than the darker atmospheres of Gimme Fiction, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is actually the band’s least immediate album. Showing off more patience and an even greater attention to detail, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga slowly evolves within the album’s ten songs. There are only a few patented rockers here and that is actually refreshing. The band continues to explore any and all avenues. Instrumentally, Spoon still sound wonderfully imaginative. While much of Gimme Fiction was highlighted with strings, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga sees the band adding multiple brass accompaniments that add a rich, full backbone to Spoon’s lean sound. Shockingly, Spoon’s deft arrangements and songwriting still flourish even as the band manages to stay within the perimeters of their sound. Spoon should be commended for carrying their sound this far…six albums is certainly impressive.
While I have enjoyed Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga more than Gimme Fiction, I still do find myself at a a loss. There is no doubt Spoon continue to put out respectable efforts that further the band’s streamlined sound. It is a blessing and a curse that no matter what changes are made from album to album, Spoon still sound exactly like themselves. I have nothing negative to say about Spoon or Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. However, sometimes as a listener, you simply reach a point when your tastes for a band hit a wall. Yes, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga may have brought me back temporarily, but I am afraid that it might be a little too late.
Listen: Spoon – The Underdog (mp3)