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Girls Can Tell

Spoon Audio CD

Price: 15.20 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Some Press for Transference:

"The most consistent alt-rock band of the past couple of decades delivers another winner: a perfect balance of smart, weird and wild."
~ROLLING STONE "Buy These Now" 2/18/10

"An album that stomps around, rolls gently over you, and kisses you off sharply after churning you through the gears of a mangled piano." ~EXCLAIM! ... Read more in Amazon's Spoon Store

Visit Amazon's Spoon Store
for 26 albums, 5 photos, discussions, and more.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  66 reviews
59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understated but indelible rock record 20 Jun 2001
By M. E Mattson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
....It is not a "revelation," unless the revelation is that something can be great and totally unassuming, too.
But a 5 star record should be a record in which every song is great, and which will sound just as good 10 years from now. It needn't change the world at all--it just needs to be great in and of itself. With "Girls Can Tell," Spoon achieves just that: a timeless, fresh-sounding album of stripped-down rock songs which pay homage to the past without being too reverential, while maintaining a sound which is neither retro nor hyperfashionable.
In a sense the record reminds me of early R.E.M. records (though they sound nothing alike!) in that the spareness of the instrumentation seems to connote much more than is actually there, though the guitar/bass/drums arrangements leave room for the odd keyboard, harpsichord, etc. to pop in for added color.
In the past, Spoon seemed to err on the side of indie coolness. On "Girls Can Tell" there is an emotional openness to the melody and lyrics refreshing in its lack of irony. Here they are much more interested in being a rock band--one you might've heard on the radio somewhere between (I'm guessing) 1974 and 1980. The Thin Lizzy influence is there in the dry, spare attack of the band and the almost conversation run-on cadences of some vocals ....
...the album does rock with attitude, and rock in a way that does not require bone-crushing distortion, ham-fisted drums, a handful of steroids, and one trillion overdubs. It has the dangerous grace and surprise impact of a Shaolin boxer to the current state-of-rock's WWF.
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why did it take two years for this album to come out? 6 April 2002
By "burquhart1" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Following their unceremonious departure from Elektra records, Spoon suffered in a kind of musician's purgatory while vainly searching for a new label. The frustration for Britt Daniel, Spoon's de facto leader, was compounded by the fact that the band had already finished recording its next album. After sending demos to dozens of labels - and receiving dozens of rejection letters - Daniel was feeling, well, kind of washed up. It would have been a very sad story if it wasn?t for the kind people at Merge Records.
It's difficult to understand how any label could pass on an album as effortlessly accomplished as Girls Can Tell. Combining the hushed pop introspection of Big Star's minor key moments with the angular, keyboard-driven minimalism of Chairs Missing-era Wire, Girls Can Tell is an album of sublime longing, punctuated by Daniel's expressive, razor-nicked voice. In his Austin, Texas drawl, Daniel sings songs of love, betrayal, faith and tradition over a spare arrangement of guitar, bass, drums and piano. It all feels a little melancholy.
It's the space within the songs that may be the most salient aspect of Girls Can Tell. While so many bands feel compelled to fill a song up with the unnecessary, Spoon breaks rock 'n' roll down to its base elements, employing only what is needed. Songs like "Believing is Art" are reduced, in parts, to an almost subliminal bass line above a simple, rhythmic pattern. While another band would place rhythm guitar behind the lead, Spoon limits the lead to a rigid, three-note motif and eliminates the extraneous strum. Yet, even without the frills, Girls Can Tell still sounds extraordinary.
Despite these spartan arrangements, the songs themselves are full of texture with Daniel and his bandmates, drummer Jim Eno and bassist Josh Zarbo, augmenting the basic melody with hints of piano or harpsichord. The'effect is often haunting, especially when paired with Daniel's pensive lyrics. "Everything Hits at Once", the first song of the album, begins with a soft keyboard fill and reverberating vibes, as Daniel croons "Don?t say a word, the last one's still stinging." In "Lines in the Suit", the vibes are replaced by piano and off-beat rhythm guitar, with three overdubbed Daniels singing in harmony: "How come I feel so washed up at such a tender age?"
While the bulk of the album does have that sense of minor key sadness, Spoon manages to rock out on a couple of numbers. "Take the Fifth" has the new wave piano and insistent bass of a pre-Warner Elvis Costello as Daniel "talks it up all of Saturday night". "Take a Walk", the band's kiss-off to its former label, is reminiscent of Spoon's Pixie-ish first album Telephono with its coupling of jagged guitar and lyrical vitriol. "And now the song's been sung, It's just the cost of what's been done" spits Daniel with a palpable mix of anger and contempt .
While some of Spoon's critics have rebuked the band for wearing its influences too plainly on its collective sleeve, the band has sublimated these influences on Girls Can Tell, resulting in a sound that is distinctly its own. Yes, the band still steals from its inspirations, nicking a bit from the Gang of Four, the Beatles and a hundred other bands, but it does so with such brash singularity that these influences are incidental to the results. Girls Can Tell is an album of moody brilliance and minimalist pop that improves with each listen. As each song becomes more familiar, its textures - the odd, ancillary sounds and keyboard fills - are increasingly apparent and increasingly vital to the song's design. Despite the spare arrangements, Daniel's songs are surprisingly complex. Already, Girls Can Tell feels like a classic.
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alchemy is the only explanation. 4 Sep 2002
By Saska Albright - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
One singer. Minimal keyboards and sampling. One guitar, one bass, drums. How can this simple formula become the genre-defying, infectious experience that is Spoon's "Girls Can Tell"? When the novelty of the White Stripes' anti-establishment minimalism has worn off, Spoon will be here to pick up the pieces and prove that *musicianship* plus minimalism equals alchemy: more than the sum of the parts.
From the first bars of "Everything Hits at Once," I was bobbing my head and tapping feet. Whether on the aching but uptempo "Lines in the Suit" (like a fusion of the Mamas and the Papas with Elvis Costello), the straightforward, Tom Petty-ish "Anything You Want", or the surf-rock instrumental "This Book Is A Movie", Austin singer-songwriter Britt Daniel's pop hooks catch in the fleshy part of your consciousness and take permanent hold. Collaborator and drummer Jim Eno keeps pace with flair but not flash.
Daniel's voice evokes the emotion, if not the sound, of classic rock singers with country roots, a la Tom Petty and Neil Young.
Classic 70s rock and roll, R&B, rockabilly, 60s pop, classic country, roots rock, surf rock, and new wave all surface during a listen to "Girls Can Tell" - but such comparisons should be used with caution, since Spoon's sound is far more than the sum of those influences.
The truth is that "Girls Can Tell" is very much a modern record, only possible with all of the musical history that went before it. That Spoon has managed to create a completely unique sound out of their cultural reference bank is all for our gain.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An instant hit 20 Mar 2001
By pixelgrrl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
When I heard samples of this album I was hooked instantly! They have a clean sound that is catchy from the first time you listen. Each song is individual from the others. The melodic sound of the piano keeps the music upbeat...combined with the lead singer's voice it's a perfect blend. The music brings me memories and thoughts of an early Billy Joel, Ben Folds Five, and Cake.
This album shows the tremendous talents of Spoon and is definitely a group to watch for in the very near future. What lies ahead looks very promising for them!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars easily one of top ten albums of 2001 9 Aug 2002
By "goven" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This outstanding album didn't stand a fair chance when it was released in 2001, admittedly a year of really great music. They fell just under the radar of notice, although critics made note of it, and as it was, a relatively famed band released a pretty [darn] good album in near obscurity.
Their music is driven by beats and melodies and these folks feel like simplified rock and roll. It's concise, to the point, and clean, if music can be described as such. In fact, it's catchy rock with pop simplicity, without being offending to rock. And use of clever musicianship. Track 10's "This Book Is a Movie" is a song completely without lyrics and is pretty cool that way. Their sound doesn't have any pretentions to be anything more than old fashioned rock and they stay consistent throughout. The album isn't difficult to enjoy, even if you've never experienced Spoon before. All their songs are extremely friendly and enjoyable, but no less credible for its accessibility. Bottom line: Disturbed or Papa Roach-like fans may not become avid fans, but if you like the Pavement, Strokes, Coldplay type of rock, you'll more than likely appreciate Spoon for what they are. Worth sampling, maybe off the net at first, if you can get a hold of it.
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