83.) Spoon - Gimmie Fiction (2005)
I am of the opinion that we indie rock fans tend to take Spoon for granted. For the better part of this decade, Spoon have been reliably releasing great record after great record and sure said records have been consistently selling better, they've been on Veronica Mars and SNL, but still you don't often hear people saying their favorite band is Spoon. People fawn over bands like TV on the Radio and (yikes) Radiohead and as much as I like both of those bands (they will each have records that rate higher than any Spoon record on this list) as far as 2000's output goes, I'd say Spoon bests both of them (and tons of others as well).
Having said all that, I think Gimmie Fiction is Spoon's last five star effort (which isn't saying too much since the only subsequent release has been Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga which rates a solid four stars). Gimmie Fiction, like all Spoon, is instantly likable - sing along choruses abound and the guitar is front and center. But, Gimmie Fiction finds Spoon exploring some new territory.
My favorite song is the opener, "The Beat and Dragon Adored", a relatively subdued track announcing the bands intentions for this record - "Will you believe they call it rock 'n roll?" Gimmie Fiction is a rock record, but not in the traditional sense. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Prince inspired "I Turn My Camera On." Yeah it's a rock song, but shit it's got soul with a Britt Daniel falsetto that borders on monumental. Gimmie Fiction feels timeless. This thing could have been made in the 70's and no one would have batted an eye.
But for some reason the record is severely underrated, even by me. In the initial stages of this listing (which topped out at somewhere between 250 and 300 records) I pulled each of the four Spoon records released this decade and then quickly eliminated all but one (and yes that includes Gimmie Fiction). As I started building the list, Gimmie Fiction's absence nagged at me. Why isn't it on this list? I loved that record. I know every word to every song on that record.
I really spent time cultivating this list and Gimmie Fiction isn't the only cast-off that found it's way back on, but now when I think about this list and I look at it, I can't believe it almost didn't make it. I look now and I think it probably should be in a better ranking than it is. But, that's the charm of Spoon I guess. They're not in your face about anything. They exist to make near flawless records. Records that challenge and reward repeated listens while still being immediate and poppy.
But it still feels as though Spoon are destined to be taken for granted. Maybe it's because they're not loudly laying stake to any claim. They're not pretentious. They're just solid. They're making visionary records without feeling the need to beat you over the head with how visionary they are. I think our kids will love Spoon (and even our moms - mine was all about "The Underdog" when they performed it on SNL last year). I think that's their legacy. Undervalued in their prime, but destined to be listened to forever.
Or maybe I'm totally wrong. After all Spoon are one of the more talked about indie bands. One of the more popular indie bands, right?
I just feel as though people like Spoon but they don't love them (which they should), they're not passionate about them and though they've found some mainstream success, they're not Kings of Leon (and they should be).
Posted by Pat Driscoll