There’s a myth, ubiquitous in music-snob circles, that an artist’s first album, when lauded to no end, leads to an often disappointing, experimental second album that only serves to elevate expectations for a highly-anticipated, all-deciding Third Album.
Perhaps I’m getting the myth all wrong, because this is Spoon’s sixth album, and there has not yet been a critical or public backlash of which I’m aware. This is purely the product of good music, without any gimmicky commercial orchestrations or associations with supermodels who may or not be still dating the lead singer.
Because Spoon was never billed as decidedly experimental, it can never be accused of becoming mainstream, and because the guys from Spoon don’t seem likely to experiment with adolescent, rhyming poetry, or, say, eyeliner, I’d say it’s pretty safe to assume they won’t be making any career-shattering moves any time soon.
But their latest record, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (that’s five) is only experimental in Spoon’s tried-and-true sense. Britt Daniel’s distinctive voice protects heartfelt lyrics from sounding too saccharine, while adding a distinctive groove to every track.
What’s particularly distinctive about this album is the new turn the lyrics have taken. Its not a new lesson of maturity. “All the Pretty Girls Go to the City” (off Kill the Moonlight) and “I Summon You” (off Gimme Fiction) both display the same level of maturity with different focuses. But narrative now plays more of a central role, as in one of the album’s best songs, “Eddie’s Ragga”, Daniels sings “Someone that I met but I hardly knew/he said that everyone loves a defective heart./ He’d parted ways with diction, this was late last night/He seem me getting your affection and it proved he was right.”
More of the songs are similar to Gimme Fiction’s “I Turn My Camera On” in that they’re rhythmically contagious, but they show more of a focus on narrative, which is a wise move.
But regardless of the turns the album takes—this or any album—its clear that their fans will follow.