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Kill the Moonlight is Indie rock band Spoon's Fourth studio album, released in 2002, after Girls Can Tell and before Gimme Fiction. It's a far more stripped down affair from the following album and more in the vein of their earlier records. Although this was released before Spoon hit it big, The Way We Get By was used in The O.C. and Stranger than fiction, amongst other films and television shows, which helped the band to be heard by a wider audience.
The album opens with Small Stakes, which a lot of people really, really love but while I can enjoy its frenetic energy, I can't enjoy the melody. It's a pretty good opener however, in that it lets you know what sort of album to expect. There are still some surprises on the way, though.
Stay Don't Go shouldn't work as much as It does; lead singer Britt Daniels becomes a human beat box and it's a little bit funny but surprisingly not silly. It just works. It's a pretty cool track and a lot of fun to listen to. It's also fun to picture the lanky, slightly gawky Daniels beat-boxing.
I defy anyone to listen to The Way We Get By and not find themselves tapping their feet. It's been used in several films and TV shows for a very good reason. Insanely catchy, it has some of Britt's most playful lyrics; 'We go out in stormy weather/we rarely practice discern/we make love to some weird sin/we seek out the taciturn'. It's a song that feels like summer, and just screams to be played loudly in the car.
Someone Something is rather throwaway but enjoyable nonetheless. The pounding piano takes centre stage, and while I doubt it will ever be anyone's favourite Spoon track, it's a fun, charming little ditty.
The album's crowning jewel is the astonishing Paper Tiger. The Ghost Of You Lingers from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga feels like the offspring to this even more stripped down track. It's probably the sparsest song on the album, and its power lies in the simplicity of the lyrics, teamed with the other worldly, almost unnerving melody it's an incredible track and for me stands out above all others. It's certainly one of the oddest love songs I've heard, but also one of my favourites. The narrator of the song is liberating himself with love, what can be more beautiful? Peculiar and permeated with a sense of danger; 'The new war will get you/ it will not protect you/ But I will be there with you when you turn out the light', it is romance that prevails. 'I'm not dumb; just want to hold your hand'. He doesn't offer false promises to his reticent beau, he merely offers himself. I can listen to it on a loop and find something new to love each time.
Jonathon Fisk is the most rock track on the album; it's quite a violent song, which is fitting considering Fisk is based on a bully who went to school with Britt. Amusingly, 'Fisk' is a fan of the band and has been to several of their gigs. Like Paper Tiger it doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the album, but that's part of its appeal. It's a fan favourite and one of the most accessible tracks on the album.
I know a lot of people cite Kill the Moonlight as one of Spoon's best albums but for me there are far too many unremarkable songs for it to ever be a favourite. Tracks such as You Gotta Feel It and Back To The Life tend to get the skip button treatment, and I couldn't even tell you how Vittorio E goes. I do however love that Spoon clearly revel in experimentation, and long may that continue. I kinda like that some of these experiments don't always work. But when they do, boy do they ever.
I think it's certainly worth buying if you're already a fan of Spoon, but if you aren't this isn't going to win you over, and if you're unfamiliar with them it's probably better to try out the more accessible albums first. It's not going to be available on the high street, so to the internet you must go. It's available on Amazon from £7.61 new or £6.99 used. Please note that doesn't include P&P.
The Way We Get By
Something To Look Forward To
Stay Don't Go
Don't Let It Get You Down
All The Pretty Girls Go To The City
You Gotta Feel It
Back To The Life
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Small Stakes
2 The Way We Get By
3 Something To Look Forward To
4 Stay DonÂ?t Go
5 Jonathon Fisk
6 Paper Tiger
7 Someone Something
8 DonÂ?t Let It Get You Down
9 All The Pretty Girls Go To The City
10 You Gotta Feel It
11 Back To The Life
12 Vittorio E.