SPOON'S GIMME FICTION
I've now listened to the new Spoon CD for about a week and what strikes me most about is not the Marvin Gaye-meets-Wire-meets-Beatles element to Gimme Fiction. It's more the Glam Rock angle, as it pertains to the Decadent movement of the late 1800s, early 1900s. Which is to say that whether they all meant it consciously or not, the glam rockers, with their lifestyle and point of view, were echoing elements of the Decadent poets and fiction writers.
Spoon's new CD, to me, has a strong, pulsing Decadent element to it. From the "The Beast and the Dragon, Adored," to "The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine," to "Was It You?" It's no surprise that the cover of the CD shows a Red Riding Hood-type figure on it, nor that inside that figure stands revealed as both Red Riding Hood and the wolf. Somehow this fits into a Decadent perspective as well, to me.
So I'm not quite articulating it as clearly as I would like, but Spoon's new CD seems to be drawing on literary influences or attitudes as well as musical ones. And this gives it a very lush depth, even on the simplest of its tracks. It is by far my favorite CD of the year so far. It impresses on a first listen, but it also rewards repeated listenings. There are also little stray sounds on the CD that you don't hear at first, in the background, that you pick up on with repeated listenings: the sound of rain, the sound of something mechanical whirring, little random bits of distortion and feedback. All layered below the surface. All contributing to the complexity. And yet, it all feels effortless, with nothing wasted. The production isn't fancy or fussy. The songs are all taut and controlled while still giving hint of great passion.
I've always loved Spoon, but I feel that on this new CD they've tapped into something darker, stranger, and more strangely beautiful than in the past.