"Underdog" by Spoon
"Don't Make Me A Target," the first song on Spoon's sixth album, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, doesn't just sound like a retread of ground Spoon has already covered, it sounds like a retread of ground the band covered 10 years ago. Not until late in the song, when Britt Daniel stops singing and the band starts jamming, does "Don't Make Me A Target" start to sound fresher—and even then, it sounds a lot like something off Spoon's last album, 2005's Gimme Fiction. But Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga's next song, "The Ghost Of You Lingers," is a stunning piece of spooky indie-rock minimalism that layers jarring piano lines over and under Daniel's lonesome staccato whispering. And the song after that, "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb," throws another curve ball: It's a Motown-by-way-of-The-Jam R&B jumper, complete with horns.
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga goes on like this, with bold stylistic advances tugging against thoroughgoing retreats. Up until now, every Spoon album has felt tonally unified, but Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is more scattershot, as though Daniel weren't sure whether he wanted to make his big pop push, keep pursuing rhythmic deconstruction to its logical end, or just give up entirely and make A Series Of Sneaks again. For those who thought Spoon's one-two punch of Girls Can Tell and Kill The Moonlight marked the group as a contender for the "Best American Band Of The '00s" label, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga may be a disappointment. But buried in that disappointment is a handful of songs as good as any in the Spoon catalog—which, slipshod presentation aside, makes them as good as any indie-rock being made today.