Spoon

Gimme Fiction (Merge)

Texas Platters

Spoon

Gimme Fiction (Merge)

Like no less than Wilco, Spoon has yet to release a mediocre album. On the contrary, with every new series of sneaks, the beloved Austin indie institution overlays yet another evolutionary transparency onto its endlessly compelling musical matrix. Where 2001's Merge debut, Girls Can Tell, stripped Spoon's jagged edge down to its bassline, follow-up Kill the Moonlight reapplied a subtle layer of ornamentation while elongating the groove. Like Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot into A Ghost Is Born, Spoon's fifth full-length finds further symbiosis between Britt Daniel's emotional obfuscation and the band's spare, uptown backbeat, then looses drummer Jim Eno to metronome the rest. Five of Gimme Fiction's first six tracks, on which Daniel steps outside his constricted romantic obsessions and into those of "The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine" and "Sister Jack," all but erase the memory of previous Spoon compositions. Deliberate, demanding, and distorted opener "The Beast and Dragon, Adored" might just embody t-h-e ultimate Spoonful. The Scissor Sisters would mortgage their falsies for Daniel's "I Turn My Camera On," with its disco falsetto, while the cinematic drama of "My Mathematical Mind" and its sonic rough-up feels like a song that had been waiting to be born into the rock canon. Similarly rumbling, "The Infinite Pet" piano is more pronounced, swaggering, as are the twisted, knobby knees of "Was It You?" standing out from Fiction's back-end beatific headphones delight. Gimme shelter, gimme some lovin', gimme gimme shock treatment. Gimme Fiction.

****

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