The last thing fans want to hear about a band's new album is that it sounds a whole lot like the last one. Nobody wants to spend $15 on recycled songs and unoriginal material, right? Austin's Spoon might be the ultimate exception to the rule, as the group's latest, Gimme Fiction, can be combined with 2002's Kill the Moonlight to create the best two-disc set released so far this decade. Much of what Spoon did right in Kill has returned, although this time, the restrained piano-pop formula expands with longer songs and more blasts of guitar; the result should send Ben Folds into early retirement. Singer-guitarist Britt Daniel has once again pulled off seriously lean, razor-sharp pop songwriting, from the acoustic, string-assisted "The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine" to the buzzing organ, bass and piano lines of "The Infinite Pet" to the tense falsetto-funk of "I Turn My Camera On," which is so infectious that I'm ready to call it single of the year. Really, I need twice the space to gush about the number, and diversity, of quality rock songs on this album. Gimme more.
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