Spoon - Gimmie Fiction

by Jim Cunnar Rating:10 Release Date:2015-12-13

This month marks the 10-year anniversary of Spoon's coming out party, Gimme Fiction. To celebrate, Merge is re-releasing a deluxe version of the album, with eleven bonus tracks which are home demos of the original songs plus the song "Dear Mr. Landlord". At the time of its release, Gimme Fiction wasn't just well received, it was universally applauded. This praise was not misplaced. Gimme Fiction has wholly stood the test of time and is arguably the best-aged album of its era.  

Sonically, Gimme Fiction saw Britt Daniel blowing his song writing envelope wide open. Minor keys, piano, synths, and Jim Eno's distinctive percussion permeate the majority of the album. Opener "The Beast And The Dragon, Adored" is unlike any opening song on any album. Bass then piano bass and percussion are follwed by Daniel's smokey tenor. It's a one of a kind song, making you sit up and take notice that this isn't going to be just another indie rock listen.

The biggest hit off the album, "I Turned My Camera On", has such attitude with the most minimal production. Daniel goes falsetto, his voice punctuated by the staccato of the bass and percussion, layering in subtle distorted guitar as the song ends abruptly on a guitar upstroke. The epic "My Mathematical Mind" grinds away for five plus minutes with Daniel's gravely voice dueling the piano baseline, which is the framework of the entire song.  

"Sister Jack" is a strum and sing-along beauty, the first real radio ready track that shows up six songs into the album. Followed by "I Summon You", they are the power pop breathers before diving back into the bass heavy  "The Infinite Pet". Finisher "I Summon You" again does more with less. Piano, percussion and strings allow Daniels to taunt the listener with the line, "You know you want to give in." 

The bonus tracks on the deluxe version are excellent but don't add much to the original 11 songs. These songs are so minimalistic that it's hard to go even less, but the home demos do that with just Daniel, his acoustic guitar or piano and an occasional overdubbed lyric. 

Spoon is simply one of the coolest rock bands in America. Gimme Fiction was the album that established that swagger and still stands tallest in their canon. It is proof that the best albums are the ones which can crawl inside your head and don't leave, because they do something truly different. 

And in 2015, this album remains as unique and extraordinary as ever. It is a must for every music lover's library. Put it back in heavy rotation. You will be happy you did.

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