REVIEWS | FEATURES | DEPARTMENTS | BOOMBOX | PODCAST | MISC
SEARCH:
splendid > reviews > 8/19/2002
Spoon
Spoon
Kill the Moonlight
Merge


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Something To Look Forward To"

Buy me now
I own only one other Spoon album, 1999's brilliant Series of Sneaks, so I wasn't even close to being prepared for the radical change that the band's sound has undergone in the last three years. For those who, like me, have been somewhat out of the loop, I'll elaborate: Spoon has moved to a four-man lineup and has begun leaning heavily on piano and other keyboard instruments. At points, Britt Daniel and company are channeling Squeeze, Papas Fritas, and even the more interesting side of Elton John, and slapping it together with the band's well-developed sense of unrefined pop deconstruction.

Song for song, this is a fantastic release, even if I still find myself yearning for a kick-ass track like "30 Gallon Tank" (to be fair, Moonlight's "Jonathon Fisk" rocks nearly as hard). The complexity and depth of the songs has increased; the band sounds less like they're trying to channel The Pixies, and more like they're reaching toward the sublime.

The stylistic variation is part of what makes this such a tremendously interesting album. Take, for example, the opener, "Small Stakes": from beginning to end, it's nothing but tension, with little or no release. As the keyboard and an insistent tambourine combine with a low, Doors-style keyboard bass, Daniel demonstrates his growing lyrical chops: "Small time danger in your midsize car / I don't dig the Stripes but I'll go for Har Mar / The big innovation on the minimum wage / Is lines up your nose but your life on the page so c'mon / Tell me I'm wrong." In addition to following the hallowed rock and roll tradition of props to your buds/disses to your foes, this line proves that Mr. Daniel has been honing his lyrical abilities, even as he drives his band in ever-different directions.

There's straight-ahead piano rock on "The Way We Get By" and "Someone Something", while "You Gotta Feel It" brings in a low-end sax sound to lend a hint of Motown to the proceedings. The excellent "Back To The Life" is replete with backward and/or pitch-bent strings, boot-stomp drum machines, artificial handclaps and maracas. "Stay Don't Go" uses the old Flaming Lips trick of exhalation-as-rhythm-tracking to produce another masterpiece of tension, blissed out with a cool Fender Rhodes piano.

These twelve tracks last just over thirty-four minutes; it's not that Spoon doesn't have much to say, but that they don't take too long to make a point. Stylistically diverse, lyrically poignant, joyfully experimental, and instantly likeable, Kill The Moonlight is one more rung on the ladder of Spoon's climb to greatness.



REVIEWS:

12/31/2005:
Ladytron

Brian Cherney

Tomas Korber

UHF

The Rude Staircase

Dian Diaz

12/30/2005:
Helloween

PTI

The Crimes of Ambition

Karl Blau

Rosetta

Gary Noland

12/29/2005:
Tommy and The Terrors

Blacklisted

Bound Stems

Gary Noland

Carlo Actis Dato and Baldo Martinez

Quatuor Bozzoni

12/28/2005:
The Positions

Comet Gain

Breadfoot featuring Anna Phoebe

Secret Mommy

The Advantage

For a Decade of Sin: 11 Years of Bloodshot Records

12/27/2005:
The Slow Poisoner

Alan Sondheim & Ritual All 770

Davenport

Beaumont

Five Corners Jazz Quintet

Cameron McGill

Drunk With Joy

12/26/2005:
10 Ft. Ganja Plant

The Hospitals

Ross Beach

Big Star

The Goslings

Lair of the Minotaur

Koji Asano



Splendid looks great in Firefox. See for yourself.
Get Firefox!


FEATURES:
Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste probably didn't even know that he'd be the subject of Jennifer Kelly's final Splendid interview... but he is!



DEPARTMENTS:
That Damn List Thing
& - The World Beyond Your Stereo
Bookshelf
Pointless Questions
File Under
Pointless Questions
& - The World Beyond Your Stereo


ARCHIVE:
Read reviews from the last 30, 60, 90 or 120 days, or search our review archive.

It's back! Splendid's daily e-mail update will keep you up to date on our latest reviews and articles. Subscribe now!
Your e-mail address:    
REVIEWS | FEATURES | DEPARTMENTS | BOOMBOX | PODCAST | MISC
SEARCH:
All content ©1996 - 2011 Splendid WebMedia. Content may not be reproduced without the publisher's permission.