Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

In 2000, Spoon leader Britt Daniel penned a sharp dagger of a tune, “The Agony of Laffitte,” whose intended target was the major-label A&R guy who signed the band to the big leagues and left it (and its 1998 album A Series of Sneaks) lost in the proverbial sea before it was dropped. Fast forward to 2007, and the band’s fourth album for Merge (M. Ward, Camera Obscura) proves its finest hour in a career heavy with high points. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is an astute, passionate melding of everything Spoon does right. The sincerity and edge of 2002’s Kill the Moonlight collide brilliantly with the radio-friendly rock of the band’s last record, Gimme Fiction. “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb” might be Daniel’s defining moment as a songwriter as he combines the perfect hook with contrasting melancholy perfectly, captured by his voice and lyrics spreading between life’s sweet potential and inevitable loss. Beneath the looming specter of Billy Joel, “The Underdog” is impossibly catchy with its acoustic strums punctuated by loud horns in the chorus. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is astonishing across the board—it’s hard to imagine a better collection of perceptive pop since Elvis Costello’s Armed Forces.