Spoon

Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge)

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Britt Daniel wants us to know a thing or two. One, he's not a particularly good speller; Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga titles include "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb" and "Rhthm and Soul." Two, he's perfectly happy to continue lining the pockets of Spoon's vampy guitar-piano pas de deux with bits of the R&B ermine that worked so well on Gimme Fiction's "I Turn My Camera On." (Another song is called, tellingly, "Black Like Me.") The same way Kill the Moonlight was a shadowy, more intimate echo of heroic predecessor Girls Can Tell, Ga Ga cloaks Fiction's fragile romance and pointed allegory in gauzy reverb and cryptic wordplay. Still, the quartet also turns in — or is that tosses off? — some of its catchiest work ever. The horn-powered, Jon Brion-produced "The Underdog" could be Spoon's life story — and biggest hit — to date; the stiff-lipped ache of "Cherry Bomb" rivals set list staples "I Summon You" and "Anything You Want." The curious "The Ghost of You Lingers" and "My Little Japanese Cigarette Case" backdate Spoon's choppy template even further, which makes perfect sense. Each new album isn't a matter of two steps forward, one step back so much as it is sidestepping expectations altogether. Especially theirs.

 
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