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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Again with the Fiction

Due to popular dissent, I gave Spoon's Gimme Fiction a more dedicated listen. My initial response to the album was "It's good, but boring in spots." I now have a higher opinion of it, but I'm still not getting what the fuss is all about. It's a quality album, certain to make my year-end top-40, but there are too many dud tracks for me to really get into it. Are all you fans really playing this start-to-finish everytime?

My skippers: "Two Sides," "The Delicate Place," and "Was It You". The ones that really stick with me as standouts: "Beast...Dragon," "I Turn My Camera On," and "Mathematical Mind" (which was awesome live).

I can't stand by my earlier thoughts of boringness, though. There's a low level intensity that grinds throughout the album, and Gimme Fiction as you'd expect from Spoon, shows a great deal of craft (one of my favorite moments is the way the piano plays on that chord change at the beginning of "Beast" -- it comes out of nowhere but sounds perfect).

So give one to the Spoon-ers in that my opinion of the album has gone up (even if I stick with my somewhat-flippant 3.5/5 rating). I'd rank this one below Kill the Moonlight but above Girls Can Tell.

11 Comments:

Blogger Ian said...

But Girls Can Tell was better than Kill The Moonlight!

I'm listening to KtM right now, and while it's got a few stunners (seriously, why isn't "Vittorio E" absolutely everywhere?), most of it I find pretty boring. Whereas GCT is in my opinion one of the best-paced albums I own. I haven't heard Gimme Fiction yet, although I've got some songs on my computer (haven't heard them yet either), and I'm in no real hurry.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

I sense a full-catalog revisit...

And by full-catalog, I mean last 3/5...

9:25 AM  
Blogger Ian said...

Hey, A Series Of Sneaks is damn good too. I haven't heard the debut.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

That's what I hear. Investigation forthcoming...

4:42 PM  
Blogger Quigley Quagmire said...

well not get into the fray too late but I think "two Sides" is a tune that grows on you and can't be thrown onto the duffer pile if only because of the use of the Tosca Strings cello as a percussive instrument. "Was it You," and not the execrable "it was You" remix, offers a nice smear of drum delay in the mold of "Paper Tiger" and seems to bear all the fingerprints of a vanderslice/salter production, but I guess I should out myself as an easy touch when it comes to moody and laregly instrumental tracks. Still that leaves you with "I summon You" "Merchants of Soul" "They never got You" and the OC-friendly "Sister jack" in addition to the three you mentioned. they are too well-established to be a breaking buzz band but that is what I call a solid album. as long as I am showing my hand I think the whole run from Series of .. to Gimme are all pretty great albums. can' t think of a band that has had a better four album run in the past five years. If "Small Stakes," and "the way we get by" is boring then fill me with ennui.

12:37 AM  
Blogger Justin said...

My love for JV/Solter production work is well known. Perhaps after another 100 listens these tracks will grow on me...

8:42 AM  
Blogger mendeau said...

boring? boring! justin, justin. i guess i can grant you that the songs often finish in more interesting and rockalicious ways than they begin. on a few i'm less that excited when they start, but by the final 45 secs or so, i'm really just delighted.

i'd also like to make the case for the voice of britt daniels. while the lennon comparisons are easy, i think we're better off with more contemporary guys like paul westerburg and jeff tweedy--that whole scratchy soulful thing.

and "the two sides of m. valentin" may be my favorite from the whole disk. i'm not usually one for caring about lyrics, but come on: "in his coat and his boots and his black heart machine."

obviously you have hit a nerve.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Ian said...

Do people really compare Daniels vocally to Lennon? To me, not even something like "1020 AM" sounds like Lennon. I agree his voice is marvelous, though.

5:49 PM  
Blogger mendeau said...

well, i think it was just on "beast and dragon," esp the lines about rock 'n' roll. can't remember where i read that....

8:56 AM  
Blogger Justin said...

I just heard from a friend who said the whole album reminded him too much of the Beatles for his taste. I am utterly lost.

2:43 PM  
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4:55 PM  

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