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After catching a few tracks from Spoon and really liking them I decided to check them out and after asking around for which album to start with I was steered toward their 6th album 'Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga' (from now on will be referred to as 'Ga' for the sake of my sanity and fat fingers). I'm now working my way through Spoon's entire back catalogue on the strength of 'Ga'. The album opens with the pounding 'Don't Make Me a Target', a song about George Bush. That sounds tedious but while the lyrics are easy to decipher, it's not a clunky political song. The pounding of the guitar and piano means this always gets turned up loud when I'm driving! Fantastic song to kick off the album.
'The Ghost of You Lingers' follows on from this and is easily the least accessible of the album - it's such a weird song musically and almost seems out of place, and yet it's probably my favourite. The vocals are haunting and the 'Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga' of the piano is where the album got it's name. The piano is it's own character in this song, joining Britt Daniel's vulnerable, Lennon-sounding vocals and heartbreaking lyrics in creating one of the most fascinating songs I've heard. The way Daniel sings 'would you ease my mind?' genuinely gives me chills. Sometimes you hear a song that feels as though it was written for you - 'The Ghost of You Lingers' is that song for me. The lyrics have a gorgeous simplicity to them: 'I had a nightmare nothing could be put back together', 'the sleep fled from my eyes/ and I/ I know that I need some'. It's a real highlight of the album, and is now firmly planted on my favourite songs list.
The least accessible song is followed by what is probably the most accessible with the rousing 'You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb', a very enjoyable, fun pop song. Rhythm and Soul is another gem. I'm not even going to pretend I understand what this song's about, but it's another toe tapper. I'm not very musically minded so I can't pick out the individual instruments, but to my ears it sounds like there's a lot going on, it sounds almost deliberately complicated musically. 'Eddie's Ragga' sounds kinda, well... dirty but in a good way. Daniel's gravelly vocals are oddly sexy on this track. It was at this point on the album that I was getting the distinct feeling Daniel can't write bad songs. There is genuinely no stinker in the bunch, no filler.
This is cemented by the wonderful 'The Underdog'. It's proved to be very popular, as it has been heard on several films and tv shows. It's a triumphant song and impossible to listen to without a smile on your face, 'you got no fear of the underdog/that's why you will not survive'. The album seems to chill out a bit after this, with the wonderfully weird 'My Little Japanese Cigarette Case' proving to be another great grower of a track, and 'Black Like Me', the closest thing the album has to a ballad, which gives the album a brilliant track to go out on.
There are no duff tracks, nothing that makes me reach for the skip button. As soon as I had finished listening to the album, I played it again. And again, and again.... It's not a long album, it clocks in at just over half an hour but it's a fully satisfying album that doesn't make you feel remotely short changed.
Don't Make Me a Target
The Ghost of You Lingers
You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
Don't You Evah
Rhythm & Soul
My Little Japanese Cigarette Case
Black Like Me
Price and Availability:
It's still in the shops, but you can get it from Amazon for £8.56
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Don't Make Me a Target
2 The Ghost Of You Lingers
3 You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
4 Don't You Evah
5 Rhythm & Soul
6 Eddie's Ragga
7 The Underdog
8 My Little Japanese Cigarette Case
9 Finer Feelings
10 Black Like Me