How can you come up with a better name for an album than “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga?”
You don’t really, but that’s OK. No, this is not an album by 2.5 Lady Gagas — it is Spoon’s spectacular last album. Spoon’s last three albums — “Kill the Moonlight,” “Gimme Fiction” and “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” — actually, have all been great.
Their pop–garage rock style certainly isn’t a new genre, but their sound does have a fun and unique edge to it thanks largely in part Britt Daniels scratchy vocals. Their new album, “Transference,” does not break their style or their current hot streak.
“Transference” starts in an interesting way. The opening track, “Before Destruction,” lacks that regular Spoon kick, but that’s not to say it’s a bad song.
The track seems to be a typical Spoon song immersed in a fog. As it progresses, it feels as though the album itself is slowly waking from a long slumber as it slowly recognizes itself and the world around it. While it didn’t feel like “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” Spoon immediately, I wasn’t put off by the change.
The calm introduction was a very intriguing way to start this album.
Things shift immediately with “Is Love Forever?” when Spoon wakes up and remembers they are usually a more lively band. While this song is catchy, it seems that the band put less effort into this song compared to other songs on the album.
There are other songs in the album more reminiscent of “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” era and earlier Spoon such as “The Mystery Zone” and “Goodnight Laura” which are not merely clones of previous efforts (such as “Is Love Forever?”). Then there are new songs that go in new directions. For example “Who Makes Your Money?” plays as a cool version of Bob Dylan meets Prince. It’s a subtle but very cool song that may make you do a double take.
The song that follows is probably one of the catchiest songs I have heard in a long time: “Written in Reverse.” While the song itself is nothing dramatically new for the band, it has this great gritty funk kick to it.
Perhaps it is Daniels’ foggy screaming or it just may be those nasty blues riffs but the song just takes you to that badass old blues club on that street you probably shouldn’t walk alone on too late at night. It has this dangerous edge that just feels right.
While “Written in Reverse” is probably my favorite song from the album, the most interesting piece on the album would have to be the closing track “Nobody Gets Me But You.”
It seems that when writing this song, Spoon had just watched Talking Heads’ “Stop Making Sense” and really wanted to pay homage to it.
While it is not a complete immersion into new wave, the programmed beats and the funk like feel to the song make it seem like Talking Head David Bryne had brought that boombox he used during the opening of “Psycho Killer.”
While it is an alien genre, Spoon pulls it off quite well.
Overall, it seems that Spoon once again has released a phenomenal album in and of itself.
Compared to other Spoon albums, though, I’m not sure that it surpasses any of the previous three albums. I was hooked on this album all week, but I’m still undecided how it will stand up to the three giants already created by these Texas indie gods.