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Spoon:: Gimme Fiction (Album Review)

Like some sort of glorious indie-rock dairy farm, Spoon have been churning out the creamiest, oh the very creamiest of future indie-rock classics for over a decade, plying the world with the kind of artful, succinct pop that hoards of dull indie acts strive for and fail to produce with exhausting consistency. ‘Gimme Fiction’ is a nocturnal, introspective refinement of previous releases that still capitalises on Britt Daniel’s classic pop song writing and sonic inventiveness. Assorted studio noise, whispered words and brief pieces of sound you can’t place adorn these songs like subtle accessories. The strings that punctuate the brooding punch of ‘The Two Sides Of Monsieur Valentine’; Jim Eno’s concise, artful fills; Daniel’s mock-Prince falsetto that struts alongside ‘I Turn My Camera On’ – everything has air to breathe and space to inhabit. You know a good sound when you want to take out a second mortgage to buy headphones good enough to appreciate it. Not everything here is as fleeting as Spoon fans may have come to expect, however. While this works to the advantage for tracks like ‘My Mathematical Mind’ – a rumbling chorus-free piano epic that will probably kill live audiences – the ponderous, repetitive nature of ‘Was It You?’ feels almost throwaway and its curious background noise just fails to save it from obscurity. This is only a minor discrepancy, considering just how stellar these songs are at their best. The elastic bounce that consumes ‘The Delicate Place’ or the gently rollicking peacock strut of ‘Sister Jack’ are proof that Spoon are still masters of their craft. Look to the slow-burning opener ‘The Beast And Dragon, Adored’ for summary. “I’m going back to the water/Been land-locked too long” sings Britt – three years after ‘Kill The Moonlight’ and Spoon remain consistently inventive and engaging in both feeling and technique.