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Spoon – “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” Track-By-Track Review

Date July 11, 2007

I can’t think of a better album to do a track-by-track review of then Spoon’s latest opus, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. Coming in at 36 minutes, the album is the definition of an “all killer, no filler” album (taking this off the table of course). The album was released officially yesterday, and I think it’s the best album in months.

Don’t Make Me A Target

The album begins with the forceful, staccato guitar riff of Don’t Make Me A Target, a song that continues the tradition of punchy piano/guitar rock songs that the band is famous for.  The hook is a bit reminiscent of the chorus to “The Way We Get By”. The song’s highlight is a thunderous piano jam that comes around 2:20 and is interlaced with some of the most creative guitar work that I’ve heard from the band. All around superb opening track.

The Ghost of You Lingers

This track was the first to be released from the album. It was interesting choice as it’s perhaps the most experimental and non-single-like from the album. Whatever their reasoning was behind it, I think the song works great. The continuously banging piano creates an anxious and haunting feel, and the sound is mixed perfectly to make Britt Daniels vocals (which are even more vulnerable than normal) seem like they’re coming to you from every direction (it’s a song that should really be heard with headphones).

You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb – Download MP3

You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb was my favorite on my album from the first time I heard it. It’s an unabashedly enthusiastic and fun song, it has that soulful feel the band always strives for, an awesome bass line, and some tambourine thrown in for good measure (that’s not even to mention the brass section). But forgetting all the elements of the track, there’s some kind of unexplainable joy that I get from hearing Britt Daniels singing the words “Cherry Bomb”. It’s infectious I tell you!

Don’t You Evah

Spoon has a bit of a rough-around-the-edges feel to them, and this song is a testament to that. The “dirty” type of recording that includes all the studio sounds gives the album a ton of character, and that’s showcased best on this song with the “Jim, can you record the talkback” intro. The song has funky, sexy type of swagger about it, and I was actually very surprised to hear it’s a cover of the band The Natural History.

Rhythm & Soul

I remember seeing this song at last year’s Pitchfork Fest and thinking it was pretty good, if not a bit repetitive. The song is very solid on album though, highlighting some of the bands minimalistic qualities. It features some nice little progressions on the melody and a few pitch changes and to spice things up a bit. I also just realized that this song would be perfect for that Tokyo mix I made a couple weeks back.

Eddie’s Ragga

This song has one of the more interesting tempos on the album with guitars that come in on the off-beat over a descending bass line. My only complaint would be that the song really doesn’t go anywhere, but otherwise it’s another solid track.

The Underdog – Download MP3

This is the official first single for the album and I don’t they could have made a better choice. It’s perhaps the closest to a pop song that the band has made, definitely one of their catchiest. The frantic strumming that opens the track tells you right off the bat that this going to be a killer track, and the song doesn’t hold back any punches from then on. The mariachi band horns and handclap percussion are a perfect fit for the song, which is surprisingly danceable. On top of that you’ve got some of the lyrics (how could you not relate to a line like “You’ve got no fear of the underdog, that’s why you will not survive”). If this for some reason becomes the band’s “Float On”, then that would be just fine with me.

My Little Japanese Cigarette Case

This song starts off with soft-spoken lyrics and some atmospheric sound effects, but don’t worry it picks up fast by the time the chorus comes and continues that soft-loud-soft dynamic the rest of the song. Keeping on with the Spanish-influenced mariachi of the previous tune, “My Little Japanese Cigarette Case” features a flamenco guitar solo. It’s a nice little grower of a track that I wish went on a bit longer.

Finer Feelings

I really don’t know what all that noise is at the beginning of this song, but I love it. What I also love is the space-rock feel of the song, the extremely catchy chorus, and the guitar work, which is some of the best on the album. It sounds like the band had a lot of fun layering the sounds on this track. I’m thinking this could be the sleeper hit of the album or at least a really good song to jam to when you see Spoon live.

Black Like Me

The band finishes off the album on a very strong note with this gorgeous acoustic pop song. There’s a noticeably beatles-esque feel to this track, especially near the end as the strings are building and Daniels’ inward-looking lyrics fit the feel of the song perfectly.

Overall, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is a mind-numblingly brilliant and my favorite album from the band. Who would have figured an album with baby-speak for the title and 1/3rd of the song titls mispelled would be such a strong contender for album of th year?

5 Responses to “Spoon – “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” Track-By-Track Review”

  1. Syma said:

    I bought the CD yesterday, and I cannot agree more with the “all killer no filler” statement. It was definitely worth the buy, my personal fave was “The Ghost of You Lingers”.

    Awesome review :) I check your blog everyday (sometimes twice, haha!) hoping to see a new entry… keep it up!

    take care, syma.

  2. motovres said:

    i thought he saud “record that top-hat”? a drum thing?

    fuck i don’t know.

    agreed amazing amazing record.

    like many people now, Spoon have entered (at the very leats) my top 10 favorite bands.

  3. wayne said:

    Great review. This album has consumed me totally. I still think Gimme Fiction is slightly better but this is damn close. Just superb music. I think only Don’t You Evah is the only song I don’t totally love. Best song, either Black Like Me or Don’t Make a Target.

  4. James said:

    Wow – what a thorough review! – Nice insights to the songs. I especially love “Black Like Me” – it seems to be the grower on the album for me.

  5. J.A.P. said:

    Nice review. I tried, but could never really get into their last record. So far I encouraged by the tracks I’ve heard. Guess I’ll give it a download on emusic.