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Gimme Fiction
     

Gimme Fiction

4.1 7
by Spoon
 

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Though they began their career in the mid-'90s as fine but unremarkable Pixies clones, Spoon have grown into one of the best bands in America, and their mastery over sonics and songcraft grows with each new album. Core members Brit Daniel and Jim Eno have taken a variety of mostly British influences -- the Kinks,

Overview

Though they began their career in the mid-'90s as fine but unremarkable Pixies clones, Spoon have grown into one of the best bands in America, and their mastery over sonics and songcraft grows with each new album. Core members Brit Daniel and Jim Eno have taken a variety of mostly British influences -- the Kinks, Wire, Julian Cope -- and spun them into a distinctive sound that is as American as their hometown of Austin, Texas. Gimme Fiction, Spoon's fifth album, is a closer cousin to the expansive pop of 2001's Girls Can Tell than the stripped-down approach of their last album, Kill the Moonlight. It is also their grooviest yet, exploring a heretofore unseen funky side. Witness the slinky album opener, "The Beast and Dragon, Adored," Spoon's idea of a slow jam, with a reverberating low piano that you can feel all the way down your spine. "Was It You" owes debts to late-'70s new wave with squeltchy synths, pulsing bass, and scratchy guitar lines, and it's hard to hear the lead single, "I Turn My Camera On," without thinking of the Rolling Stones' disco-era hits "Emotional Rescue" and "Miss You" -- both songs are pulled off, with panache and soul. Elsewhere, Spoon are in more familiar rock territory: "The Delicate Place" and "The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine" would've fit perfectly on Girls Can Tell, and "Sister Jack" is Gimme Fiction's purest pop moment, with a killer chorus and lyrics that find Daniel remembering time spent in "a drop-D metal band that we called Requiem." Like R.E.M. in the '80s, Spoon seem to be able to do no wrong -- a refreshing constant in the current climate of one-album wonders.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
The three-year stretch between Gimme Fiction and Spoon's previous album, Kill the Moonlight, was the longest gap between the band's releases since the end of its disastrous relationship with Elektra Records helped put two and a half years between A Series of Sneaks and Girls Can Tell. Though the circumstances behind this hiatus probably weren't as dire as those behind the band's previous one, the anticipation surrounding Gimme Fiction was nearly as high as it was for Girls Can Tell, and Gimme Fiction feels like as much of a refinement on what came before it as Girls Can Tell did at the time. A dark, theatrical album seething with late-night tension and menace, Gimme Fiction is a bigger-sounding affair than Spoon's previous work, with lots of keyboards, guitars, and strings parts courtesy of the Tosca Strings. But, even with the album's bigger scope, the band keeps its eye for detail. Everything about Gimme Fiction, from its artwork -- which looks like photographer Irving Penn doing a surreal fashion spread on Little Red Riding Hood for Vogue Magazine circa the 1950s -- to the little sound effects that embellish each song, is meticulous. Fortunately, "meticulous" doesn't spill over into "careful" or "precious"; the album's first three tracks show that Spoon makes music that's intricate and rousing at the same time. "The Beast and Dragon, Adored" acts as a slow-building preface and statement of intent, mentioning later song titles and introducing Gimme Fiction's big, brooding sound. "The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine," a string-driven tale of a mysterious gentleman/cad, boasts some of Britt Daniel's cleverest storytelling, while "I Turn My Camera On" turns voyeurism and emotional distance into a subtly irresistible groove that sounds like a tense rewrite of the Stones' "Emotional Rescue" (later on, the intro of "They Never Got You" sounds strangely like Hall & Oates' "Maneater" -- it's nice to hear them reach back to '70s and '80s references that aren't the post-punk and new wave influences borrowed by so many other indie rock bands, or even the Elvis Costello nods that shaped so much of Spoon's earlier work). Gimme Fiction's opening trio of songs is so strong that it tends to overpower the rest of the album at first, but other standouts eventually bubble to the surface: "My Mathematical Mind" is one long verse, broken up by instrumental interludes where choruses would normally go; it keeps building and building, and though it's not an immediate song, it is a hypnotic one. On the other hand, the relatively lighthearted "Sister Jack" and pretty but oddly jittery acoustic ballad "I Summon You" just emphasize how moody and nocturnal the rest of the album is. Indeed, taut, restrained tracks like "The Delicate Place," "The Infinite Pet," and "Merchants of Soul" seem to be more about supporting Gimme Fiction's nocturnal mood than standing out as great songs. Still the interesting productions and arrangements on songs like these and "Was It You?" make them enjoyable in their own right. "Meticulous," "distant," and "restrained" may not be the most likely adjectives to describe a good rock record, but they fit Gimme Fiction perfectly. With this album, Spoon continues to build one of the most consistent, and distinctive, bodies of work in indie rock -- the band makes changes and takes chances from album to album, but ends up sounding exactly how Spoon should sound each time.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/10/2005
Label:
Merge Records
UPC:
0036172956524
catalogNumber:
29565
Rank:
89221

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Spoon   Primary Artist
John Palmer   Trombone,Trumpet,Saxophone
Eric Bachmann   Background Vocals
Mike McCarthy   Xylophone,Finger Snapping
Brad Shenfeld   Darbouka
Britt Daniel   Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Piano,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Tambourine,Vocals,Voices,Moog Synthesizer,Kalimba,Shaker,fender rhodes,sleigh bells,Wurlitzer
Ames Asbell   Viola
Sara Nelson   Cello
Jim Eno   Drums,Hi Hat
Joshua Zarbo   Bass Guitar
Scott Solter   Drums

Technical Credits

John Vanderslice   Producer,Feedback
Jeff Byrd   Live Sound
Mike McCarthy   Producer,Engineer
Jim Vollentine   Engineer
Britt Daniel   Composer,Sound Effects,Producer,Engineer
Sean McCabe   Artwork
Jim Eno   Producer,Engineer
Scott Solter   Producer,Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Spoon is making great top 10 records.That are not going top 10.Poppy singles...still hip enough to capture there early following.I turn my camera on captures spoon pulling out a rock,dance number. Sister Jack sounds like a great Beatles tune....It will be great to see what this band does next.......
Guest More than 1 year ago
SPOON -- "Gimme Fiction" Could you be a little less awesome please? Do you songs really need to be this catchy? Isn't it enough that I"m already addicted to all your other records (I played "Kill the Moonlight" so many times that i literally wore out my CD), but now I have to be addicted to this one too? Give me a break, Spoon. All my other records are jealous now because I don't have time to play them. I might lose my job because I'd rather call in sick and listen to "Gimme Fiction" all day. Thanks a lot, Spoon. You've ruined my life...and I thank you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Its as if the band that did "Kill The Moonlight" and the one that did "Gimme Fiction" are two different groups. "Gimme Fiction" is pure studio pablum. No edge, and no creativity.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After listening to this album all I wanted to say was, "Gimme somemore Spoon!" It's fun, crazy, and the song writing is really good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Perfectly written-- every note was thought about. Kick ass guitar & drums... yeah. Spoon is back with a vengeance!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gimme Fiction is just so good. Its the first album that I have from spoon and its exellant.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago