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Spoon
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Merge Records
www.spoontheband.com


By now, it may come off a bit clichéd stating that the darlings of the indie rock scene," Spoon, consistently put out good records. Nevertheless, at the risk of saying something hackneyed or redundant, I am pleased to report that Spoon has, with the release of Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, given the world of music one goddamned great album. Spoon (Britt Daniel, Jim Eno, Eric Harvey and Rob Pope) smash their influences like an unsupervised ornery kid wrecks his sister's favorite doll with a hammer; then when the destruction is absolute, they pick up the pieces and reshape the shards into music that surpasses exceptions set upon it by the music press, aficionados of "challenging rock" and hipsters.

The Austin, Texas natives combine seemingly unrelated musical styles; everything from Manfred Mann And His Earth Band to The Memphis Horns, World Party, and much to my distain, the late 1970's stylings of the piano man himself, Billy Joel. Case in point, track seven of Ga, a superb tune named "The Underdog", ( the only track produced by producer dejour Jon Brion ) carries basically the same tempo and changes as the Joel classic, "Only The Good Die Young."

What makes this album run away from the pack is Spoon's complete lack of fear and their ability as musicians to make the record that they wanted to make. Over the span of a decade, six full-length albums, an ep or two and several split singles, Spoon have pushed the envelope with their music, subsequently forcing other bands to cut the crap and make solid records or be left in the dust. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is an album that any real lover of music would want and should hear. It is exciting, at least to me, to experience a band that obviously worries less about whether or not their single is played on mainstream radio and more about their fans and the discussions that the songs will inevitably incite. It's wonderful to know that, after experiencing some mediocre at best music of late, there are a few bands left out there that actually give a shit about the music that they write, perform and record. Now that "indie" rock is no longer underground and the indie labels are being devoured by the major labels at an alarming rate, many bands on the scene now apparently worry more about their outfits (see Interpol) or their facial hair (see The Killers.)

Driven through witty lyrics, songs like "Don't Make Me A Target", the spooky "The Ghost Of You Lingers", the funky "Rhythm And Soul", and the out and out strange "My Little Japanese Cigarette Case", Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is one of only a handful of albums this year that will make supposed giants in the alternative/indie music world, like for instance, the overrated Shins and the Bob-Dylan-wish-I-was-Conor-Oberst shit their "too cool for you" pants.

-Danny R. Phillips


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