The Rich Girls Are Weeping

16 May 2007

(photo courtesy of Kathryn Yu)

So, understandably, people want to know what we think of "The Ghost of You Lingers" -- the preview track from the new Spoon record, Ga ga ga ga ga.

It seems like a lot of people really hate it.

We think it's really great. And here's why.

The wonderful thing about Spoon records is that they always reveal what's on heavy rotation in Britt's record collection.

Remember when Spoon songs kinda sounded like Replacements songs? And Wire songs? Or John Lennon songs? It's cute, because Spoon songs never ape the influences, but send them through the weird filter of the band's songwriting grammar (uh huh! yeah! all right!), and the result is something charming and rarefied and unpretentious, all at once.

Spoon -- Car Radio
Spoon -- Mountain of Sound
Spoon -- Everything Hits At Once
Spoon -- Stay Don't Go

See? Uh huh -- you know what I'm talking about.

Someone over on Idolator namechecked Steve Reich and Philip Glass in the discussion about "The Ghost of You Lingers." That's sounds about right. There's nothing here but synthy bits pounding out a Glass-y hypertensive rhythm. And Britt's multi-tracked vocals. And the occasional atmospheric electronic crunch or swirly wisp of a marimba or steel drum under that that echoes soundscapes from previous albums. And that's it. No, really. THAT IS ALL. For the whole song. But it's not that different from say, the grammar of "Stay Don't Go," you know? Just without the BrittBeatBox action.

It would appear that maybe this is Spoon's record in the modern classical/experimental mode? I mean, things had been heading that way for a while now -- I mean, most of Kill the Moonlight was ultra-minimal, with a whole lot of low pile noise made by the rhythm section going on in the background and on top of that, spartan melodies with canyons about three miles wide running right through the middle--but Gimme Fiction was a little more, how you say... accessible.

Now, we can't absolutely say for certain what's going on with Ga, etc., and if it's entirely a return to form as promised on Kill the Moonlight because we haven't heard the rest (we have it, we just haven't listened to it quite yet...busy!). But we're hedging our bets that basically, this is the kind of record that says:
"Yeah, we know you loved our hits 'Way We Get By' as heard on the hit television series "The O.C." and 'I Turn My Camera On' from that Verizon commercial, but really, that's not who we are. Oh, um, you thought we wrote catchy indie anthems? Well, you know, not so much. We're actually trying to bring back No Wave. Again. Please enjoy this anti-album full of anti-melodies. LOVE AND KISSES, SPOON."
Spoon -- The Ghost of You Lingers

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Anonymous pinkievonbloom said...

(Jim) Eno presents Reich's Music for Wooden Instruments, featuring Spoon's Britt Daniel...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 6:16:00 PM  
Blogger cindy hotpoint said...

Dude, in case you were wondering, comments like that are WHY YOU ARE MY BFF. Because right now, we're probably the only ones laughing about this.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 6:36:00 PM  
Blogger azltron said...

One of the reasons that I love Spoon so much is that they have this blue collar home town rustic rock band feel but they aren't afraid to use effects electronics and other things to amplify and enhance their sound. I don't care for the new track when it starts, but I can appreciate it once it gets rolling. I'm glad their adventurous nature has not been curbed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 8:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why i love this place. Have I ever heard of Spoon? No. But do I dig the tracks listed? Yes. Can I now talk about subject group with a measure of knowledge? Yes.

Music to the masses.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007 11:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ghost is the only weird song on the whole album .. everything else is very straightforward . perhaps next time.

Thursday, May 17, 2007 12:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was so taken by "Ghost" that i totally downloaded and used (for the first time ever) a bitorrent thingie to snag the whole album today. on first listen, while i agree w/above Anon that the rest of the album is comparably "straightforward," i think as a whole it combines the best elements of A Series of Sneaks (less slick production — fuck slick production — and more spookyish effects) and Kill the Moonlight (sorry, but, um, catchy indie anthems, with lotsa handclaps and audible grins).

Thursday, May 17, 2007 6:38:00 PM  
Blogger Battlestar Luna said...

the song would sound amazing in surround sound. just saying...

Friday, May 18, 2007 2:43:00 PM  
Blogger fritz said...

i'm certain you know this already, but a lot of the electronic frippery dates back to the Stay Don't Go EP b-sides, "Is This The Last Time" and "In The Right Place The Right Time." the rest of the album is pretty straight ahead, but doesn't shy away from space or interesting instrumentation, either.

Saturday, May 19, 2007 8:30:00 AM  

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