Gimme Fiction – Spoon

Gimme Fiction

Spoon

2005

Merge

I’ve been a fan of Spoon since I first heard their music.  Admittedly, it was a bit late that I got into them, but not too much so.  I first heard of them back in 2005, right about the time that Gimme Fiction was released.  Maybe that is cause for some bias, but I’ve always believed this album to be their magnum opus.  Gimme Fiction just seems to do everything right for me, and doesn’t leave me wanting for anything except perhaps more.

There’s two things that I just want to get out of the way quickly, rather than prattle on about them through the whole review.  First, Britt Daniel is a musical genius of the highest caliber.  I sincerely believe the man invents new instruments or just finds the most obscure ones available (ie. yamonica, Memory Man, kalimba), so that he can play them on Spoon’s albums.  That’s not all:  he also plays a wide variety of well-known instruments.  For example, on Gimme Fiction, he is listed as having played no less than fifteen instruments, including vocals.  Second, every single track on the album (and a few other Spoon albums, for that matter) is so damn catchy.  This can’t be explained any better than by “I Turn My Camera On.”  I challenge you to listen to that song in its entirety without subconsciously tapping your foot, bobbing your head, or some other kind of rhythmic movement.

Ok, so now that that stuff is out of the way, we can move on.  One of the most common themes from Gimme Fiction is the idea of the unknown.  Not just in the literal sense, but also in that there’s a lot of questioning going on throughout the album.  It starts, in both senses, in “The Beast and Dragon, Adored” with the lines “Where you been for so long /I went to places unknown.”  We also get a taste of it in “The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine” with the repetition of “No one knows (sees) the two sides of Monsieur Valentine.”  It leads the way on “Infinite Pet:”  “Hung up and bent on a stranger.”  There’s even a track titled with a question, “Was It You?” Really, all the references to the unknown seem to be intrinsic, as if the album is silently seeking the answers.

Another thing that recurs through the album is references to various art forms, be they fictional or real.  Britt Daniel mentions in “Sister Jack” that he was in a  “drop D metal band we called Requiem.”  I can’t confirm nor deny the existence of such a band, but it is extremely possible, as drop D tuning was used by many 90’s metal bands and Daniel was in several bands during the 90’s.  “The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine” makes references to some kind of performance art called The Stranger Dance.  This doesn’t seem to exist, but based on the description from the song, it sounds pretty damn cool.

So like I said, Daniel’s versatility really shines in this album.  He wrote all the songs, and based on how catchy they all are, I bet he’d kick ass in a marketing department.  He plays a plethora of instruments, pretty well I might add, and then to top it all off, he makes everyone subconsciously dance.  Gimme Fiction is just a great indie rock album, and my favorite from the Texas-based Spoon.

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One Response to “Gimme Fiction – Spoon”

  1. Nicholas Says:

    I’d troll this review but I love this album and agree with everything said.

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