Since 02's Girls Can Tell, Spoon's best songs (Paper Tiger, The Way We Get By, I Turn My Camera On) have been their most minimal. And while 05's Gimme Fiction, hinted that Britt Daniel, Jim Eno and the added-on members of their Austin indie crewhad a hard-on for fuller instrumentation and denser arrangements, there was still enough lean, muscular material to maintain that streamlined Spoon sound.
On first listen, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga feels like an uncomfortably huge stride further in that direction. Closer to the more conventional, sweaty Stones-rock of Gimme Fiction tracks like Sister Jack or I Summon You, Spoon's sixth LP is chords instead of spiderweb guitar melodies, brass sections instead of sparse programming, white-boy R&B crooning instead of grunts and yelps.
But once you settle into the disc, Spoon's trademark elements become clearer - Eno's meticulous experimental percussion bits still serve as the songs' foundation, even if they're slightly obscured by horns and lush guitars. The Ghost Of You Lingers, with its simple stuttering piano and haunting layered vocal, is Spoon at their stark best, while the bass-driven Don't You Evah recalls Beck's better Dust Brothers collabos.
It's not the best album of Spoon's career, but it's far from a misstep.