Girls Can Tell – Spoon

Spoon_-_Girls_Can_Tell.jpg

Girls Can Tell

Spoon

2001

Merge

Spoon is a band that I am very into, for reasons I can’t quite explain.  Perhaps it’s that Britt Daniel is insanely talented with whatever he does (including making up instruments so that he can play them on the albums), or maybe it’s the fact that nearly every single one of their songs is so damn catchy.  Either way, I really like them.  The album in question here is Girls Can Tell.  I don’t know where in the chronology of albums this falls because I only know that it came before Gimme Fiction and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Yes I had to count to make sure I had that right).

Right out of the gate we get an interesting sounding song.  It kind of reminds me of bad 80’s music, but something about it makes it so much better… oh yeah I remember, Britt Daniel is now singing.  Seriously, you know how delicious bacon is? That’s how awesome his voice is.  So back on topic, “Everything Hits at Once”, as with most Spoon songs, is damn catchy and it’s so simple, but just entrances me. It’s kind of funny, if only the 80’s had Britt Daniel, maybe there wouldn’t have been so much bad music.

Second up is “Believing is Art”.  From this song, I get the feeling that Britt Daniel is standing behind me, and he is singing each line alternating from one ear to the other.  Then he just gets all in your face with the chorus, and the guitar randomly chimes in whenever it feels like it, just kicking your ass.  Spoon puts some weird images in my head like this, but damn, they kick ass.

So we have a piano chord (undoubtedly played by Britt Daniel) and the rest of the band starts in on “Me and the Bean”.  Here we have the first taste on this album of strange effects Daniel uses on his vocals.  It sounds like it’s muffled, as if it’s on the other side of a very thin wall, in an open room encased in metal (try and figure that one out, muhahahaha). But seriously, Spoon uses this effect a lot. And guess what, this song is catchy as hell too! I think until now, I’ve overlooked the quality and underlying power of Spoon’s basslines.  They really draw you into the catchiness and don’t let you go.

Okay, this is my second favorite song on the album, and one of my favorites from them to boot. “Lines in the Suit” definitely displays Daniel’s skills with mixing in higher pitched vocals into his already higher pitch that he normally sings at.  It almost sounds like he’s harmonizing with himself at times. The man is a musical genius.

So how do you follow up that? Why, with something even better of course! This is Spoon, I would expect no less, and damn do they deliver. “The Fitted Shirt”, a song about how the world was better when we were kids and we thought our parents ran the world.  Maybe something about society declining in there too? I don’t know for sure, all I do know is that this song kicks ass, and the extremely simple riff really seems deeper than it is.  Then when we get to the sort of break before the chorus, Daniel takes front stage and tells us whippersnappers a thing or two. Or how he is gonna make the world better one day… yeah probably that second one.  Seriously, just listen to this song. It’s a quintessential Spoon song. If you don’t like it, seriously go away right now. Stop reading because I don’t want you to have the privilege of seeing my words.

Okay, you’re still here, good. I don’t want to kill off what readership (is that even a word? Oh well, it is now) we may have. “Anything You Want” starts off sounding to me like carnival music, but the drums and bass really fit with it so well.  Then the guitar and vocals make it even better.  Daniel just has short vocals with long pauses here, keeping your focus on the great music being played.  This is another awesome song that I never used to really give a chance, but I’m very glad I did. It’s so good, just unfortunately short.

“Take a Walk” is a song that really does make me want to, ironically, run.  It’s got a beat that would fit to a running pace.  “I Turn My Camera On” from Gimme Fiction is really the walking pace song.  Spoon really busts out here, in my opinion.  They speed up from their normal pace, but they do it, as I expect, brilliantly.  The solo, albeit very simple, sounds like Spoon songs off other albums, and really reminds you who it is.

We then slow down like we hit a wall for “1020 AM”.  To me, this is the low point of the album.  To be honest, it doesn’t fit for me, neither on this album, or even as a Spoon song.  I can respect what they do on this track, but it’s just not for me.  The flute they have in the background sounds kinda like Led Zeppelin.  In fact, this song, minus the vocals, sounds like a slow part of a Zep album.  If that’s what they were going for, then great, but it just isn’t what I expect from Spoon.

Okay, now we’re back to the catchy, upbeat Spoon I know and love.  “Take the Fifth” is such an instrumentally simple song, but frontman Daniel is the focus here.  He sings sort of like he’s drunk at points, slurring his words.  Then again, he tends to do that a bit.  Still, it’s an awesome song that will draw you in with catchiness and leave you wanting more.

Which is exactly what we get on “This Book is a Movie”.  Daniel puts the mic down, and the band really shines here.  This almost seems like everyone else was pissed off and put a ball gag in Daniel’s mouth while they laid down some tracks.  Don’t get me wrong, this song is very, very solid, and it definitely shows the ability of all of the members of Spoon.  But Britt Daniel probably played like 5 instruments on this song, all of them made up by him.

The final song already? Girls Can Tell is definitely a fast playing album, not that that’s a bad thing.  “Chicago at Night” brings back Daniel’s brilliant, slurring at times, lyrics.  Anytime I hear someone mention Chicago, Spoon is the first thing I think of.  Partly because of this song, partly because of a lyric in “Metal Detektor”.  Britt Daniel fades away, and the instruments slow down, and Girls Can Tell comes to a close.

So there you have it, a very solid offering from Spoon here, definitely firing on all cylinders, and living up to what we expect from them as a band.  I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite album from them, but nearly every track is well worth the time to listen.

Buy This Album

Official Site

Last.fm Page

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