SPOON Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge)

“This record is a hit”, boasts the label, and not idly. Okay, maybe this Austin, Texas quartet’s sixth album isn’t quite in radio friendly unit shifter territory (although it reached the top ten in the US) but with its keen ear for a crisply-produced indie pop bullseye it scores every time.

What do Spoon sound like? Well, on “Don’t Make Me A Target” they’re Belle & Sebastian in a very bad mood, with fuzz pedals; “The Ghost Of You Lingers” gives the systems music of early Philip Glass or Michael Nyman an ethereal shimmer and shapes it into a soundtrack for a cooling relationship. “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb” is a modern, low-budget reconstruction of the classic Motown/Spector sound in three fizzing minutes, and “The Underdog” has a brassy, McCartney-esque swing to it, like a twisted “Good Day Sunshine”. It all comes together on the delicious “Finer Feelings”, with its gorgeous melody, exacting musicianship, witty, biting lyrics and diverse whirl of samples, with Mikey Dread rubbing against a recording of a Brussels fair.

That all might suggest "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga" has the cohesion of a slung-together mixtape. Not so: it’s all consistently, coherently Spoon, and if they assemble their songs the Steely Dan way – all interlocking levels of craftpersonship – maybe this album’s a “Can’t Buy A Thrill” for the credit crunch generation. Extra points too, as is becoming delightfully usual, to Merge for packing the fine-sounding vinyl pressing with a download of not only the album itself but also the bonus disc attached to the limited edition CD.