Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

Spoon knows how to play to its strengths. Ever since the Austin, Texas, band debuted in the mid-’90s, it’s stuck to a sound that combines taut, wiry guitars, cool howling and a keen sense of melody. While 2002’s Kill the Moonlight was Spoon’s ode to minimalism, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga builds on the band’s proven formula, adding strings, a horn section and even samples to the mix. The result is a sound that is fresh yet familiar. “The Ghost of You Lingers” is a spooky Kraut-rock piano drone – fitting for a band that named itself after a Can song. The folk-pop song “The Underdog” receives the Wall of Sound treatment from Kanye West producer Jon Brion. The album’s highlight is “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb,” Spoon’s take on the Motown sound, complete with a pounding rhythm, reverb-drenched tambourines and a bouncy horn section. Like the sculptures of Lee Bontecou – whose portrait graces the album’s cover – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga’s success lies in Spoon’s ability to infuse its cool minimalism with flourishes of something warmer and more organic. 4 stars