Pay no attention to the cockamamie album title. Don’t be deterred by the equally strange song titles, many rife with misspellings. Underneath these off-putting, superficial oddities lay a masterpiece in rock minimalism. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga was Spoon at its most wildly experimental.
By the time they’d released Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, the band already had songs featured on TV shows (The O.C. and Veronica Mars) and in films (Stranger Than Fiction). With their sixth studio album, however, the alt-rockers from Austin scored something even more elusive: a No. 1 album (on the Billboard indie chart — the album reached No. 10 on the Billboard 200), and a No. 1 single, “Don’t You Evah.”
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga was, at the time, the band’s most accessible album and included “The Underdog,” a radio-friendly tune that inspired instant toe-tapping. Rich with horns, handclaps and acoustic guitars, it was an upbeat anthem for the overlooked. “You’ve got no fear of the underdog,” songwriter-guitarist Britt Daniel sang. “That’s why you will not survive.” Daniel and his bandmates — drummer Jim Eno, bassist Rob Pope and keyboardist Eric Harvey — addressed their perceived lack of mainstream marketability on the tongue-in-cheek “Finer Feelings.” “Sometimes I think I’ve found love, one that’s going to change my heart,” Daniel sang. “I find it in commercial appeal.” “You Got Yr Cherry Bomb,” with its horns and xylophone flourishes, was another catchy tune with hit potential, which isn’t to say that Spoon had gone all pop. The same introspective lyrics, layered guitars and moving harmonies that characterized their earlier work still flowed through Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.
Few who saw them gig during their early, Pixies-inspired days of the ’90s would have predicted that by 2007 Spoon would have developed one of the most bulletproof catalogs in indie rock. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga only helped cement that legacy.
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