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Gimme Fiction
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Spoon is one of the best, and also the most underappreciated, bands in the wide world of indierock. And after the twin masterpieces of "Girls Can Tell" and "Kill the Moonlight," they had a lot to follow up on. They could have easily rested on their laurels, and produced a new album full of nothing new at all.

But they didn't. And the result is worth waiting for.

Their newest album, "Gimme Fiction," actually takes that kind of rock and builds on it. Nowherer is it more obvious than in the opener, "The Beast and Dragon, Adored," where lead singer Britt Daniels sounds eerily like John Lennon. If I didn't know that it was actually Daniels, I might have thought that someone found a lost Lennon song that happened to sound like Spoon.

It's followed up by a stream of slow-burning rock, with angular guitars and sharp percussion. But Spoon gets to experiment with those different styles too. There's a deep funk vibe in "I Turn My Camera On," but it instantly switches to some piano and drums in "My Mathematical Mind" and the blasts of guitar rock in "Sister Jack."

In other words, Spoon has taken the time to experiment. "Gimme Fiction" is more musically lush than "Kill the Moonlight," which was wonderfully stripped-down. But unlike many bands who try to evolve their work, Spoon hasn't lost their edge. There's still a lo-fi, angular sound to their music; it's not quite on the same level as their prior albums, but even "only good" Spoon is the stuff of retro-rock dreams.

Since it's Spoon, it's dark and rather dismal. But those lo-fi grooves are so much fun that it's virtually impossible to actually think of them as dark. The riffs are sharp and complex, with lots of little hooks to draw listeners in. They can burn slowly, then rev up into brief blasts. It's backed by unstoppable basslines, acoustic guitar and memorable percussion, with frontman Daniels' moody vocals over it all.

Daniels is still in top form in "Gimme Fiction," and it seems that his talents are not running dry. He seems very introspective and thoughtful this time around: "You've got the weight of the world/coming down/like a butterfly," he croons. He even feigns a Prince-like falsetto early on, but somehow the scratchy, flexible sound suits him better.

"Gimme Fiction" pokes into some new territory for Spoon, while keeping on safe ground. Dark and fun, catchy and rough, it's a must-have for fans of good rock.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2007
Spoon are a singular American band at once willfully experimental and tightly committed to pop and rock traditions. Their sound is bluesy and angular, but has little in common with the current renaissance of post-punk and new wave. It could be more closely identified with The Beatles, of which there are some echoes, but ultimately they are not building a career on homage or imitation. Rock's arch formalists, they structure superficially simplistic pop hooks around tightly economic, pared-down musicianship. The layering of sound in the production is subtle, all space and exacting textures, over persistant but restrained rythmns. Tightly-coiled, the songs' melodic thrust belies the spring-loaded tensions built into the music and words. There are no cathartic crescendos and guitar solos on this album, but rather simmering and unresolved tensions. Piano, bass and guitar and organic studio embellishments pulse and whirl around slightly hypnotic rythmns.

Brit Daniel sings about emotional distance in his gritty drawl, and its a distance that is made tangible in the calculated sonics. 'I Turn My Camera On...' he sings in a Prince-style falsetto on the song of the same name '... I Turn my feelings off, y'made me untouchable for life'. Unlikely themes for a song with such an infectious, funky groove and irresistable melodic hook. 'My Mathematical Mind' explores similar terrain: 'I wanna change your mind / said I wanna get it right this time .... I wanna change your ways / said i'm gonna do it right this time'. The sinister lyrics about emotional control complement a rugged but concise blues backdrop. Other highlights include the deceptively sweet ballad 'I Summon You', with its cryptic lyrics and precise acoustic chords, and the menacing opener 'The Beast and Dragon, Adored'. The mood can be a little repetitive, and the album lags towards the end, but overall it is another fantastic achievement by a highly underrated band.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2007
Spoon have spent the last decade knocking out some of the finest crafted indie-rock albums you could latch your ears on. From A Series Of Sneaks through Girls Can Tell to Kill The Moonlight they've barely put a foot wrong. And it's against these superb records that Gimme Fiction must be (somewhat) unfairly judged. Fiction is a great record, probably their best album as a whole to date. But compared to the sublime quality of their back catalogue, there's just that tiny something missing to qualify this as a modern classic. As unfair as that is, that's the burden of very high expectation. The difference really is that this works better when listened to as a whole. For example, the first four tracks are very good individually, but when played back to back they become part of a movement or a feeling that seems to better translate the rest of the record. More experimentation means that there are fewer classics here (Fitted Shirt, The Way We Get By and Lines In The Suit spring to mind) with segments of the record requiring extended listens to allow them to develop fuller. In simpler terms, Gimme Fiction is a grower. That's not to say there aren't absolute diamonds here - I Turn My Camera On is as downright loose and groovetastic as Spoon have ever been. And frankly the later part of the record dips a tad. But this is good stuff and testament to the claim made by some that Spoon are one of the best bands you've never heard. And it's a distinct possibility that the grower factor of this record may mean this will sit side by side with their other sterling albums.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is definitely one of the best random purchase i've done this year; this indie rock album is a little gem which I can highly recommend to anyone. All of my friends who have listened to it thought it was amazing... the pretty amazing thing is that my friends all have pretty different tastes in music.
Spoon is one of the most diverse band at the momment.. they're having a go ( and a damn serious one ) at sounding like so many different bands... all the songs feel different which is very surprising yet the songs are so catchy that you will easily sing along the first time you listen to it. There isn't a weak song at all and I can't even say that I have a favorite either.. it depends on the day. "I turn my Camera on" sounds like Scisor Sisters; the guitar solo on "this delicate place" feels like Graeme Coxon & Blur, "Was it you" sounds like LCD soundsystem and "Merchants of soul" is like the White Stripes...
Not too much in common between these bands, yet Brit Daniel's Spoon manages to bridge the whole lot to make this a hell of a fun album, perfect for the summer!
Should sell in large numbers... too good for an Indie band, too weird and unconventional to be mainstream.
If you're bored of the predictable bands; Coldplay sounding like... Coldplay or Oasis new album which sounds like their old stuff. Check this amazing band/ songwriter you won't be disappointed!
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on 22 February 2008
Spoon are a singular American band at once willfully experimental and tightly committed to pop and rock traditions. Their sound is bluesy and angular, but has little in common with the current renaissance of post-punk and new wave. It could be more closely identified with The Beatles, of which there are some echoes, but ultimately they are not building a career on homage or imitation. Rock's arch formalists, they structure superficially simplistic pop hooks around tightly economic, pared-down musicianship. The layering of sound in the production is subtle, all space and exacting textures, over persistant but restrained rythmns. Tightly-coiled, the songs' melodic thrust belies the spring-loaded tensions built into the music and words. There are no cathartic crescendos and guitar solos on this album, but rather simmering and unresolved tensions. Piano, bass and guitar and organic studio embellishments pulse and whirl around slightly hypnotic rythmns.

Brit Daniel sings about emotional distance in his gritty drawl, and its a distance that is made tangible in the calculated sonics. `I Turn My Camera On...' he sings in a Prince-style falsetto on the song of the same name `... I Turn my feelings off, y'made me untouchable for life'. Unlikely themes for a song with such an infectious, funky groove and irresistable melodic hook. `My Mathematical Mind' explores similar terrain: `I wanna change your mind / said I wanna get it right this time .... I wanna change your ways / said i'm gonna do it right this time'. The sinister lyrics about emotional control complement a rugged but concise blues backdrop. Other highlights include the deceptively sweet ballad `I Summon You', with its cryptic lyrics and precise acoustic chords, and the menacing opener `The Beast and Dragon, Adored'. The mood can be a little repetitive, and the album lags towards the end, but overall it is another fantastic achievement by a highly underrated band.
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Spoon is one of the best, and also the most underappreciated, bands in the wide world of indierock. And after the twin masterpieces of "Girls Can Tell" and "Kill the Moonlight," they had a lot to follow up on. They could have easily rested on their laurels, and produced a new album full of nothing new at all.

But they didn't. And the result is worth waiting for.

Their newest album, "Gimme Fiction," actually takes that kind of rock and builds on it. Nowherer is it more obvious than in the opener, "The Beast and Dragon, Adored," where lead singer Britt Daniels sounds eerily like John Lennon. If I didn't know that it was actually Daniels, I might have thought that someone found a lost Lennon song that happened to sound like Spoon.

It's followed up by a stream of slow-burning rock, with angular guitars and sharp percussion. But Spoon gets to experiment with those different styles too. There's a deep funk vibe in "I Turn My Camera On," but it instantly switches to some piano and drums in "My Mathematical Mind" and the blasts of guitar rock in "Sister Jack."

In other words, Spoon has taken the time to experiment. "Gimme Fiction" is more musically lush than "Kill the Moonlight," which was wonderfully stripped-down. But unlike many bands who try to evolve their work, Spoon hasn't lost their edge. There's still a lo-fi, angular sound to their music; it's not quite on the same level as their prior albums, but even "only good" Spoon is the stuff of retro-rock dreams.

Since it's Spoon, it's dark and rather dismal. But those lo-fi grooves are so much fun that it's virtually impossible to actually think of them as dark. The riffs are sharp and complex, with lots of little hooks to draw listeners in. They can burn slowly, then rev up into brief blasts. It's backed by unstoppable basslines, acoustic guitar and memorable percussion, with frontman Daniels' moody vocals over it all.

Daniels is still in top form in "Gimme Fiction," and it seems that his talents are not running dry. He seems very introspective and thoughtful this time around: "You've got the weight of the world/coming down/like a butterfly," he croons. He even feigns a Prince-like falsetto early on, but somehow the scratchy, flexible sound suits him better.

"Gimme Fiction" pokes into some new territory for Spoon, while keeping on safe ground. Dark and fun, catchy and rough, it's a must-have for fans of good rock.
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on 18 October 2009
Spoon! The album Gimme Fiction, the predecessor of Ga Ga Ga Ga, is as brilliant as the film Stranger Than Fiction is. It's innovative and sounds like music from a different world: Strange noises, a hammering beat and melodies that go straight into your ear. The CD of the American band from Texas - one can't stopp thinking: "They must be British!" - sometimes doesn't leave my CD player for weeks and my iPod runs on repeat everytime when I'm in bad or in good mood - because especially songs like The Beast and Dragon, Mathematical Mind and I Summon up are so much of making your day that I definetly have to say (after knowing the music for more than 3 years now): Please be back and please be so creative like on Gimme Fiction! Spoon remembers me of no other particular band - maybe they have something of an British indie band and something of New York rock&dance music. But: Spoon are, especially with Gimme Fiction and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, a very unique band. You'll love it!
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on 11 May 2005
Spoon return to more familiar territory here, something of which they haven't glimpsed since Soft Effects EP. While Kill the Moonlight their last record was their most commercial offering, Gimme Fiction pushes the guitars upfront and it's the stripped down guitar driven tunes like "The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentin" that make this record. Gimme Fiction has its more diverse moments to keep your interest, acoustic ballads, synth-based numbers which hark back to "Girls can Tell." Im sure Britt Daniels & Co. will once again flirt with mainstream recognition, but will no doubt take back seat to the media-dross of Razerlight, The Killers and all. Shame.
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on 22 December 2014
New to Spoon. Now have all eight CDs and one EP, all good. One band that, given their output, I don't know how I missed.

Sounds like - later stuff, up to date Squeeze (East Side Story) with an American twist. Earlier stuff, elements of Beck - with more melody.

Off-band - Divine Fits, (some Spoon members) equally overlooked!?!

Now checking out Wolf Parade - sounds like - Arcade Fire done by Squeeze.... which ain't going to happen, so totally original.

There's a common element here (Britt Daniel)..... Jack White isn't alone.
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on 3 August 2005
Wowsers.I first heard the song "I turn my camera on" from a friend the other week having come home veeeery late and a bit worse for wear. Despite that it just looped and looped in my head the next day. So i forked up the cash and i am unbelievably satisfied. This album isnt just amzingly catchy and varied, but epitomises the word originality to a tee. Has barely left my stereo - buy buy buy!
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