Gimme Fiction

Most writers strive to pare their work down to the bare essentials, to speak with a voice both clear and concise. Spoon has the same approach to its music. Rarely has a group been so devoid of superfluous licks. For its fifth album, Gimme Fiction (Merge), the Austin band plays it a bit funkier, darker, and louder, while vocalist and songwriter Britt Daniel, with his strange, clipped-off singing style that almost sounds like an accent, even finds his falsetto. The group delivers another set of its usual peerless pop-rock nirvana with “Sister Jack,” “I Turn My Camera On,” and “The Delicate Place,” smart songs played even smarter. Instead of building on its successes with more-grandiose ambitions, Spoon actually seems to rethink and scale back for each album. It’s a much better band for it.

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