Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

If you’re one of the suits in the music biz, you’re telling the members of Austin’s Spoon, reigning kings of the indie rock world, that it’s time to reach for the fabled brass ring of pop stardom. You know, the big radio hit. Crossover. Platinum city. But if the band is actually getting such inane advice, there’s good news: It isn’t listening. Instead, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge), 36 minutes of taut, unadorned, muscular pop—with Britt Daniel’s vocals still embodying teen angst at an age well past such concerns—only extends the group’s remarkable run of rock and roll gems. Sure, there are some horns and hand claps sprinkled about, but they seem little more than the band’s current musings. Since shaking an early Guided by Voices fixation, Spoon has imitated no one— and once its undeniable hooks sink in, there’s no getting them out. In uncharacteristic style, a couple songs here lose their mystery and take on a confessional tone; “Finer Feelings” boasts an obvious, un-Spoon-like subject matter: resisting pressure to sell out. Of course, it’s the album’s catchiest tune.

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