Friday, July 20, 2007

The Year in Music Rolls On

As I have noted on several occasions now, 2007 is turning out to be a tremendous year for music. Great albums just keep coming. The latest is Spoon's Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. I was a late arrival to the Spoon party. The first album I heard was their previous one, Gimme Fiction. I've since become a big fan.

So I was pretty excited about Ga Ga. Let me start by saying Ga Ga is no Gimme Fiction. Gimme Fiction is one of those albums that sets a mood and feels like one long piece with different segments. Ga Ga is more of a collection of varying feelings and sounds. Fortunately, many of those are quite good.

"The Underdog" will probably be in the running for my song of the year. It has horns, hand claps, and a hook that refuses to leave your head. There are the classic Spoon sounding "You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb" and "Don't Make Me a Target". And there are some moments where the band seems to be channeling the Clash.

It may not be Gimme Fiction, but it is one of the best albums so far this year.

The other album I was excited about was Interpol's Our Love to Admire. I started listening to it last week and was disappointed. It had all the elements that made the first two Interpol albums interesting, but somehow it just didn't work for me. I was ready to declare it the first real disappointment of the year.

But then a funny thing happened. I left the tracks on my listening list at work. And about the 4th day something clicked. Suddenly, I was picking up all the weird little flourishes that constitute a creeper. A creeper is one of those albums where you hear something a little different every time you listen (Spoon albums are usually of this variety). The band has tried a lot of different things within the somewhat restrictive framework of their sound.

There may not be a single song as good as the highlights from the first two albums (though "Rest My Chemistry" may get there), but the experimenting means that there aren't songs that get lost either. I'm not ready to make final judgement, but things appear to be headed in the right direction.

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