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Thunderdome CD Revue

New releases from Spoon, Interpol and Juliette & The Licks debated.

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Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge)
Jenny Poplar:
I rather like this album. I think it’s Spoon’s best effort in a while. The slightly raspy vocals and the sedate-yet-groovy rhythm section is especially notable. It’s universally appealing music that inspires movement and makes you want to sing along. I think this is a good introductory album for folks who are new to Spoon.


Ryan Bradford: I’ll agree with that. Spoon never fails to amaze me with their unconventional way of playing straight-up rock. It still rocks while being very minimalist and a little experimental (things that I suspect could get their asses kicked, thems being from Texas and all). And now a requisite comment on the ridiculous title: I really don’t like having to count on my fingers or practice saying it in bed at night as to not look the fool.


JP: I fell in love with Merge Records after I discovered the Magnetic Fields and, in my experience, this fabulous little label rarely disappoints.


RB: Don’t you mean the Magagagagagnetic Fields?

Interpol, Our Love to Admire (Capitol)
JP: If you like Interpol, you’ll like this album. Dark and moody, I feel it’s a great soundtrack for driving down a desolate stretch of stretch of highway in the middle of the night.

RB: Interpol have yet to fail me. I think that after two magnificent albums, it would be a great disappointment to see the band veer into new musical territory which, luckily, they don’t do. It’s an Interpol album (and yes, they are very different than Joy Division).

JP: Of course, there’s nothing too revolutionary here. Perhaps it’s a bit more downtempo, but this album doesn’t deviate too much from what this band has done in the past. Interpol haters will continue to be Interpol haters.


RB: I think what I love so much about Interpol is that it’s hard to find another band who are not so much interested in bringing something new but rather refining their sound to subtler greatness. It’s almost cocky how uncompromising they are in their patented atmospherics, sparse guitar and incomprehensible lyrics (“I live my life in cocaine/ Just a rage and three kinds of yes”).

Juliette and the Licks, Four on the Floor (Hassle)
JP: Frankly, I think Juliette Lewis should stick to acting and Scientology. This record isn’t horrible, but somebody certainly needs to send Lewis a memo and inform her that it isn’t 1995 anymore. Overproduced, angry “punk” music cranked out by quirky actors is so passé.

RB: If there’s anything that she should stick to, it’s probably playing (or being?) strung-out crack-whores, which I think works to her favor on her album. While it does sound derivative and without inspiration, Four on the Floor has a certain amount of sleaze and fun that makes any commercialized punk forgivable. I mean, are there any Andrew WK fans that are really into his music?

JP: I wonder what Tom Cruise and John Travolta think of this record.


RB: I wonder if Juliette Lewis herself is even aware that she made this record.


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